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Citizen Accountability Act

  Rep. Kevin Green
H.B. 4651 

Current Status
H.B. 4651 was discharged from the Committee on Judiciary on May 1, 2008.

This bill would allow any individual who has knowledge of a woman or girl being treated for an abortion complication to file a “Notice of Compliance” with the Department of Community Health, in accordance with Public Act 208 of 1999.

Background
Public Act 208 of 1999 requires that any physician treating a woman with complications resulting from an abortion, to report that complication to the state health department. These reports are to be added to the annual report on abortions in the state. It has become quite clear from both anecdotal evidence and the official reports that compliance with this law is almost nonexistent.

The 2004 abortion report indicated that there were 13 women treated for complications; 13 women out of more than 25,000 abortions. That is a complication rate of 6/100 of 1%. No surgical procedure has such an absurdly low complication rate. Clearly there is significant under reporting. A most dramatic and tragic example of this noncompliance involves the case of Tamiia Russell. She was a 15 year-old girl who died on January 8, 2004, as a result of “uterine infarction with sepsis due to status post second term abortion.” This case was highly publicized in the Detroit media, however was not reported to the department as a death due to an abortion complication. Tamiia’s death wasn’t even granted the dignity of a mere statistic. Her death counted as nothing, like the zero on the report.

The Citizen Accountability Act would allow any individual who has knowledge of a woman or girl being treated for an abortion complication to file a “Notice of Compliance” regarding Public Act 208. This notice would be filed simultaneously with the physician or facility treating the complication, the abortionist if he or she did not treat the complication, and the state Department of Community Health. This form puts all the accountable parties on notice that somebody should be filing a report, and the Department will be expecting to receive such a report. The Notice needs to give the basic information about where the woman received the treatment and when, but cannot include any identifying information. The Department must then send out an acknowledgment that the Notice has been received to the filer, and the identified physicians. There is a stiff penalty for anyone filing a false Notice.

History
H.B. 4651 was introduced by Rep. Kevin Green on 4/24/07 and was referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

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