Criminal Offenses

Experimentation on Human Fetuses

SECTION 11-54-1

§ 11-54-1. Experimentation on human fetuses.

(a) No person shall use any live human fetus, whether before or after expulsion from its mother's womb, for scientific, laboratory research, or other kind of experimentation. This section shall not prohibit procedures incident to the study of a human fetus while it is in its mother's womb, provided that in the best medical judgment of the physician, made at the time of the study, the procedures do not substantially jeopardize the life or health of the fetus, and provided the fetus is not the subject of a planned abortion. In any criminal proceeding the fetus shall be conclusively presumed not to be the subject of a planned abortion if the mother signed a written statement at the time of the study that she was not planning an abortion.

(b) This section shall not prohibit or regulate diagnostic or remedial procedures, the purpose of which is to determine or to preserve the life or health of the fetus involved or the mother involved.

(c) A fetus is a live fetus for purposes of this section when, in the best medical judgment of a physician, it shows evidence of life as determined by the same medical standards as are used in determining evidence of life in a spontaneously aborted fetus at approximately the same stage of gestational development.

(d) No experimentation may knowingly be performed upon a dead fetus unless the consent of its mother has first been obtained, provided, that such consent shall not be required in the case of a routine pathological study. In any criminal proceeding, consent shall be conclusively presumed to have been granted for the purposes of this section by a written statement, signed by the mother, who is at least eighteen (18) years of age, to the effect that she consents to the use of her fetus for scientific, laboratory, research, or other kind of experimentation or study; that written consent shall constitute lawful authorization for the transfer of the dead fetus.

(e) No person shall perform or offer to perform an abortion where part or all of the consideration for the performance is that the fetal remains may be used for experimentation or other kinds of research or study.

(f) No person shall knowingly sell, transfer, distribute, or give away any fetus for a use which is in violation of the provisions of this section. For purposes of this section, the word "fetus" includes an embryo or neonate.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1981, ch. 231, § 1.)