Requires the commissioner of the department of health to undertake periodic inspections of abortion clinics.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to periodic clinic inspection
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a requirement for the Health Commissioner to inspect abortion clinics once every two years, and submit a written report of the results of each inspection to the Assembly, Senate, and Governor.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends the public health law by adding § 2560 to define the type of facility that would be covered by this act.
Section 2 amends the public health law by adding § 2561 to create an affirmative duty of the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health to inspect abortion clinics.
Subsection 1 directs the Commissioner to promulgate rules and standards against which abortion clinics must be evaluated.
Subsection 2 directs the Commissioner to inspect abortion clinics on a biennial basis and provides authorization for the Commissioner to appoint or designate persons to perform the inspections.
Subsection 3 directs the Commissioner to create a report on the results of the inspections and submit that report to the Assembly, the Senate, and the Governor.
JUSTIFICATION: According to the Public Health Law, the Department of Health is required to supervise and regulate the sanitary aspects of businesses and activities that affect public health. It does not, however, require the Health Commissioner to conduct periodic inspections of abortion clinics on a periodic basis. A recent Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request uncovered the fact that only 17 of the 25 abortion clinics in New York had been inspected between 2000 and 2012, and five of those 17 had received only one inspection during that time period. Eight abortion clinics received no inspections.
This bill would create a duty for the Health Commissioner and/or desig- nees of the Health Commissioner to inspect every abortion clinic once - every two years and report all findings to the Governor and legislature. This time period would be in line with the statutory requirement for inspections of other facilities regulated by the Department of Health such as restaurants and tanning salons.
This measure should acquire broad consensus as its intended goal is to afford women the proper protections and highest standards befitting a facility that conducts such sensitive procedures, without altering the current status of access to abortion in this state.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7726 IN SENATE June 3, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to periodic clinic inspection THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding two new sections 2560 and 2561 to read as follows: S 2560. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE: 1. "ABORTION CLINIC" SHALL MEAN ANY FACILITY USED BY AN ENTITY TO PERFORM A MEDICAL ABORTION OR SURGICAL ABORTION. 2. "MEDICAL ABORTION" SHALL MEAN AN ARTIFICIALLY INDUCED TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING AN EMBRYO OR FETUS THROUGH THE USE OF PHARMACEUTICALS. 3. "SURGICAL ABORTION" SHALL MEAN AN ARTIFICIALLY INDUCED TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING AN EMBRYO OR FETUS THROUGH A PROCEDURE THAT INVOLVES BREAKING THE SKIN OR ENTERING THE BODY CAVITY. S 2561. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSIONER. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL INSPECT EACH ABORTION CLINIC NOT LESS THAN BIENNIALLY. THE COMMIS- SIONER MAY APPOINT AND DESIGNATE, FROM TIME TO TIME, PERSONS TO MAKE THE INSPECTIONS AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION. 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, REGU- LATIONS ESTABLISHING STANDARDS FOR CLEANLINESS, HYGIENE, AND SAFETY. 3. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CREATE A BIENNIAL REPORT INDICATING THE RESULTS OF ALL INDIVIDUAL INSPECTIONS AND DELIVER A COPY TO THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY, THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE, AND THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. 4. THE COMMISSIONER MAY, BY REGULATION, AUTHORIZE ANY COUNTY OR MUNIC- IPAL DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO ADMINISTER THIS SECTION WITHIN ITS JURIS- DICTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14834-02-4