PROTECTION FOR MATERNITY AND INFANCY
132:1 Purpose; Instruction.
The department of health and human services may provide instruction, advice and such services as the commissioner may deem necessary for children with special health care needs, and to protect and promote the physical health of women in their child-bearing years and their infants and children.
Source. 1921, 151:1. PL 128:1. RL 150:1. RSA 132:1. 1983, 291:1, I. 1986, 198:11. 1995, 310:181, 183. 2004, 21:3, eff. June 4, 2004.
The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall:
I. Conduct studies as necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
II. Formulate and administer such plans as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
III. Receive and expend, in accordance with plans developed under this chapter, funds made available to the department by the federal government, the state or its political subdivisions, or other sources.
IV. Cooperate with the federal government and with other state and local agencies and organizations in developing, extending, and improving the services provided under this chapter.
V. Supervise those services authorized by this chapter and provided under contract with local agencies.
VI. Employ such persons as necessary to carry out the requirements of this chapter.
VII. Administer the supplemental food program for women, infants, and children in accordance with RSA 132:12-a.
VIII. Assure the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum in accordance with RSA 132:6.
IX. Assure the screening of newborn children for metabolic disorders in accordance with RSA 132:10-a.
X. Administer services for children with special health care needs as provided for under RSA 132:13.
XI. Prepare, in conjunction with the office of alcohol and drug abuse prevention, a brochure which provides information relative to fetal alcohol syndrome and which shall be available to the public in the office of the town clerk and at the check-out counter of the state liquor store.
XII. Prepare, in conjunction with the bureau of alcohol and drug services and the division of public health services, a brochure and a poster which provides information relative to the risks of cannabis use during pregnancy, adolescence, and while breastfeeding, which shall be posted and available to the public in all therapeutic cannabis dispensary locations pursuant to RSA 126-X:8.
Source. 1921, 151:4. PL 128:2. RL 150:2. RSA 132:2. 1986, 198:12. 1988, 226:1. 1995, 310:182. 2004, 21:4. 2005, 261:1, eff. Sept. 20, 2005. 2021, 47:5, eff. July 24, 2021.
132:3 Enforcement of Rules.
The division may enforce the department's rules and ordinances through its inspectors, or through the local boards of health.
Source. 1911, 121:2. PL 128:6. RL 150:6. RSA 132:3. 1985, 190:39, eff. May 29, 1985.
132:4 Effect of Aid.
No person receiving aid under this chapter shall be affected thereby in any civil or political rights, nor shall their identity be disclosed except upon written order of the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
Source. 1921, 151:3. PL 128:3. RL 150:3. RSA 132:4. 1986, 198:13. 1995, 310:182, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.
132:5 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXVII, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:6 Prevention of Ophthalmia in Newborn.
I. The physician, hospital, nurse midwife, midwife, or other health care provider attending a newborn child shall, after washing the lids and adjacent tissues immediately following birth, place into each eye of every child a single drop of a one percent solution of nitrate of silver or some equally efficient solution.
II. Should one or both eyes of an infant become inflamed, swollen, and red, and show an unusual discharge at any time within 2 weeks after its birth, a report shall be made in writing, within 6 hours thereafter, to the department of health and human services, except if a licensed physician is in attendance he shall report as required by this section within 24 hours.
III. If a physician is not in attendance, the parents, or whoever has charge of such infant, shall immediately place it in the charge of a licensed physician.
IV. The commissioner of the department of health and human services may publish such information and instruction and adopt rules as he deems expedient to prevent the development of inflammation in the eyes of newborn babies, or so-called ophthalmia neonatorum.
Source. 1911, 121:1. PL 128:5. RL 150:5. RSA 132:6. 1985, 190:40. 1986, 198:14. 1995, 310:181, 182. 1999, 213:1, eff. July 6, 1999.
132:7 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXVIII, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:8 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXIX, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:9 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXX, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:10 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXI, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:10-a Newborn Screening Tests Required; Newborn Screening Advisory Committee.
I. The physician, hospital, nurse midwife, midwife, or other health care provider attending a newborn child shall test a newborn child for metabolic disorders. Such tests shall include, but not be limited to, phenylketonuria, galactosemia, homocystinuria, maple syrup urine disease, and hypothyroidism. Additional disorders shall be added to the newborn screening panel based upon, but not limited to, the following considerations:
(a) The disorder is well-defined with a known incidence.
(b) The disorder is associated with significant morbidity and/or mortality.
(c) The disorder can be detected with a screening test that is ethical, safe, accurate, and cost-effective.
(d) Effective treatment exists for the disorder, and that early treatment, meaning before the onset of symptoms, is more effective in improving health outcomes than later treatment.
II. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner of the department of health and human services shall establish fees, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to be paid directly by hospitals in their entirety, acknowledging that fees may be offset by reimbursement from commercial insurance, Medicaid, or other payors, paid to hospitals for the tests required under paragraph I. Nothing in this section is intended to prescribe the reimbursement method or the reimbursement level from a payor. The commissioner shall structure these fees to be reimbursable without out of pocket cost to the patient pursuant to 45 C.F.R. 147.130. All such fees shall be paid into the newborn screening fund, hereby established in the state treasury. Moneys from the newborn screening fund established under this section shall be nonlapsing and shall be continually appropriated for use by the department to cover laboratory analysis and related newborn screening program costs.
III. The department of health and human services shall establish a newborn screening advisory committee which shall include a member of the oversight committee on health and human services, established in RSA 126-A:13, and representation from health care subspecialties, as determined by the department.
III-a. The department shall ensure that the laboratory analyzing tests authorized under paragraph I destroys any samples no later than 6 months following the completion of testing. Any samples taken for newborn screening shall only be used for tests required under this section. No such samples may be used for other research or DNA testing purposes unless authorized by the parent or guardian.
IV. The department shall make an annual report commencing on January 1, 2006 to the oversight committee on health and human services relative to newborn screening tests which shall include, but not be limited to the number and type of tests performed and their fiscal impact.
V. No whole-genome DNA sequencing shall be performed pursuant to this chapter unless the general court authorizes such sequencing by statute.
Source. 1965, 48:1. 1986, 198:15. 1999, 213:2. 2005, 285:1. 2010, 233:1. 2014, 63:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2021, 145:1, eff. Nov. 20, 2021.
132:10-aa Newborn Screening; Pulse Oximetry Test Required.
The physician, hospital, nurse midwife, midwife, or other health care provider attending a newborn child shall perform a pulse oximetry screening, according to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, on every newborn child.
Source. 2012, 190:3, eff. Aug. 10, 2012.
The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. The women, infants, and children program under RSA 132:12-a.
II. The prevention of ophthalmia in newborn babies under RSA 132:6.
III. Newborn screening tests and how fees for such tests are to be determined under RSA 132:10-a.
IV. Services for children with special health care needs as provided under RSA 132:13.
V. Maternal and child health services provided directly by the department or by local agencies under contract to it.
Source. 1965, 48:1. 1985, 190:41. 1986, 198:16. 1987, 279:1. 1995, 310:175, 182. 2004, 21:4. 2005, 285:2, eff. Sept. 20, 2005.
The provisions of RSA 132:10-a, 10-aa, and 10-b shall not apply if the parents of such child object thereto.
Source. 1965, 48:1. 2012, 190:4, eff. Aug. 10, 2012.
Breast-feeding a child does not constitute an act of indecent exposure and to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child is discriminatory.
Source. 1999, 121:2, eff. Aug. 9, 1999.
132:10-e Development of a Plan of Safe Care.
When an infant is born with and identified as being affected by substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the health care provider shall develop a plan of safe care, in cooperation with the infant's parents or guardians and the department of health and human services, division of public health services, as appropriate, to ensure the safety and well-being of the infant, to address the health and substance use treatment needs of the infant and affected family members or caregivers, and to ensure that appropriate referrals are made and services are delivered to the infant and affected family members or caregivers. The plan shall take into account whether the infant's prenatal drug exposure occurred as the result of medication assisted treatment, or medication prescribed for the mother by a health care provider, and whether the infant's mother is or will be actively engaged in ongoing substance use disorder treatment following discharge that would mitigate the future risk of harm to the infant. A copy of the plan of safe care shall be included in the instructions for the infant upon discharge from the hospital or from the health care provider involved in the development of the plan of safe care. The plan of safe care shall not be submitted to the department of health and human services unless it is pursuant to RSA 132:10-f or the department makes an official request for a copy of the plan in compliance with confidentiality requirements.
Source. 2018, 336:1, eff. June 26, 2018.
132:10-f Mandatory Reporting.
When a health care provider suspects that an infant has been abused or neglected pursuant to RSA 169-C:3, the provider shall report to the department of health and human services in accordance with RSA 169-C:29. If the infant has a plan of safe care developed under RSA 132:10-e, a copy of the plan shall accompany the report.
Source. 2018, 336:1, eff. June 26, 2018.
Maternal, Child Health, and Services for Children With Special Health Care Needs
The commissioner of the department of health and human services may:
I. Formulate and administer plans for the purposes specified in RSA 132:12 through RSA 132:13 and adopt rules under RSA 541-A to carry out these plans.
II. Receive and expend in accordance with such plans funds made available to the department by the federal government, the state or its political subdivisions, or other sources.
III. Cooperate with the federal government and with other state and local agencies and organizations in developing, extending, and improving the services specified in RSA 132:12 through RSA 132:13, and in the administration of such plans.
Source. 1937, 58:2. RL 150:11. RSA 132:11. 1981, 307:1. 1985, 190:42. 1995, 310:175, 182, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.
132:12 Maternal and Child Health Services.
The division may administer a program of maternal and child health services, and shall supervise those services not administered directly by it.
Source. 1937, 58:1. RL 150:12.
132:12-a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.
The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall develop and administer a women, infants, and children program within the state under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, in accordance with federal regulations promulgated by the Department of Agriculture and subject to continued funding from the federal Department of Agriculture. In the administration of the program, the commissioner:
I. Shall suspend a vendor from the program for any of the following:
(a) Providing cash, unauthorized food, or other items to participants in lieu of authorized supplemental foods.
(b) Charging the state for food not received by participants.
(c) Charging the program more for supplemental foods than other customers are charged for the same food item.
II. Shall suspend a participant from the program for any of the following:
(a) Knowingly and deliberately misrepresenting circumstances to obtain benefits.
(b) Selling supplemental foods or food instruments to, or exchanging them with, other persons.
(c) Receiving cash or credit towards purchases of unauthorized food or other items of value from food vendors, in lieu of authorized supplemental food.
III. May, upon determination that a person has fraudulently obtained funds under this program, bring an action to recover the funds. Any funds so recovered shall be remitted to the proper federal officials as required under federal law or regulation. Demand and payment of these funds shall not relieve or discharge any person from liability, either civil or criminal, for additional amounts or penalties as may be prescribed under any other applicable law.
Source. 1981, 307:2. 1986, 198:17. 1995, 310:182, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.
132:12-b Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXII, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:12-c Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXIII, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:12-d Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXIV, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:12-e Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Fund.
There is hereby established the women, infants, and children (WIC) fund. The fund shall be composed of food rebates, including but not limited to, infant formula and baby food, purchased under the WIC program established pursuant to this chapter. The fund shall be nonlapsing and shall be continually appropriated to the commissioner of the department of health and human services for the purposes of continuous support for the WIC program as required by federal law and regulations.
Source. 2009, 68:1, eff. Aug. 8, 2009.
132:13 Children With Special Health Care Needs.
I. Services provided for children with special health care needs in accordance with RSA 132:2, X, shall include location, diagnoses, hospitalization, medical, surgical, corrective, and other services and care of such children.
II. In this chapter, "children with special health care needs" means children who have or are at risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.
Source. 1937, 58:2. RL 150:13. RSA 132:13. 1986, 198:18. 2004, 21:1, eff. June 4, 2004.
132:14 Limitation of Provisions.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing any public official, agent, or representative, in carrying out any provision of this chapter, to take charge of any child, or to provide services to any child, over the objection of either the father or the mother of such child, or of the person standing "in loco parentis" to such child, except pursuant to a proper court order. Nothing in this chapter shall affect the operation of RSA 186 or 200 or any other law providing maternal or child health services.
Source. 1937, 58:1, 2. RL 150:14. RSA 132:14. 1986, 198:19, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
Any person committing a fraud on the women, infants, and children program under RSA 132:12-a shall be charged under RSA 638:15. Any person violating any other provision of this subdivision or any rule adopted under this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1911, 121:3. PL 128:11. 1937, 58:2. RL 150:15. RSA 132:15. 1981, 307:3, eff. Aug. 15, 1981.
132:16 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXV, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:17 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXVI, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
132:18 Repealed by 1986, 198:23, XXXVI, eff. Aug. 2, 1986.
Perinatal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Task Force
Section 132:19 to 132:21
132:19 to 132:21 Repealed by 2010, 368:1(12), eff. Dec. 31, 2010.
Live-Birth Infants Protection Act
This subdivision shall be known and may be cited as the Live-Birth Infants Protection Act.
Source. 2001, 219:1, eff. Sept. 9, 2001.
I. In this subdivision "live-birth" means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of a human conception, irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy, which after such expulsion or extraction, breathes, or shows any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached.
II. The definition under paragraph I shall apply whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.
Source. 2001, 219:1, eff. Sept. 9, 2001.
Parental Notification Prior to Abortion
Section 132:24 to 132:28
132:24 to 132:28 Repealed by 2007, 265:1, eff. June 29, 2007.
Maternal Mortality Review Panel
In this subdivision, "maternal mortality" means the following:
I. "Pregnancy-related" means the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the end of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by her pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.
II. "Pregnancy-associated death" means the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the end of pregnancy, irrespective of cause.
III. "Pregnancy-associated, but not pregnancy-related" means the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the end of pregnancy due to a cause unrelated to pregnancy.
Source. 2010, 129:2, eff. Aug. 8, 2010.
132:30 Maternal Mortality Review Panel Established.
I. There is established a maternal mortality review panel to conduct comprehensive, multidisciplinary reviews of maternal deaths in New Hampshire for the purpose of identifying factors associated with the deaths and to make recommendations for system changes to improve services for women in the state. The panel shall consist of:
(a) Two members from the New Hampshire chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one of whom shall be a generalist obstetrician, and one of whom shall be a maternal fetal medicine specialist.
(b) One member from the New Hampshire chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, specializing in neonatology.
(c) One member from the New Hampshire chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
(d) One member from the New Hampshire section of the Association for Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
(e) The administrator of maternal and child health who also is the Title V director, division of public health services, department of health and human services.
(f) An epidemiologist from the department of health and human services with experience analyzing perinatal data, or designee.
(g) A representative of the community mental health centers.
(h) A public member.
(i) The chief medical examiner, or designee.
II. Each member in subparagraphs I(a)-(h) shall be appointed by the commissioner of health and human services, or designee, in collaboration with the organizations listed in paragraph I.
III. The term of each member shall be 3 years and the terms shall be staggered. The chair shall be appointed by the commissioner. The initially appointed chair shall call the meeting and panel together and shall serve as chair for 6 months, after which time, the panel shall elect its chair. Members of the panel shall receive no compensation.
IV. The commissioner may delegate to the Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN) the functions of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating maternal mortality information, organizing and convening meetings of the panel, and other substantive and administrative tasks as may be incident to these activities. The activities of NNEPQIN and its employees or agents shall be subject to the same confidentiality provisions as those that apply to the panel.
V. The commissioner shall submit an annual report beginning on June 1, 2011 to the oversight committee on health and human services describing adverse events reviewed by the panel, including statistics and causes, and outlining, in aggregate, corrective action plans, and making recommendations for system change and legislation relative to state health care operations.
VI. (a) The panel, in collaboration with the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee, shall conduct comprehensive multidisciplinary reviews of the maternal mortality deaths, as defined in RSA 132:29, I-III, in New Hampshire.
(b) Each member of the panel shall be responsible for the dissemination of panel recommendations to his or her respective institutions and professional organizations. All such information shall be disseminated through each participant's quality assurance program in order to protect the confidentiality of all participants and patients involved in any incident.
(c) The panel shall not:
(1) Call witnesses or take testimony from individuals involved in the investigation of a maternal death.
(2) Enforce any public health standard or criminal law or otherwise participate in any legal proceeding, except if a member of the team is involved in the investigation of the death or resulting prosecution and must participate in a legal proceeding in the course of performing in his or her duties outside the team.
(d) Proceedings, records, and opinions of the maternal mortality review panel are confidential, not subject to RSA 91-A, and not subject to discovery, subpoena, or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to limit or restrict the right to discover or use in any civil or criminal proceeding anything that is available from another source and entirely independent of the proceedings of the panel.
(e) Members of the panel shall not be questioned in any civil or criminal proceeding regarding information presented in or opinions formed as a result of a meeting of the team. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to prevent a member of the panel from testifying to information obtained independently of the team or which is public information.
VII. The commissioner of the department of health and human services, with the advice and recommendation of a majority of members of the panel, shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the following:
(a) The system for identifying and reporting maternal deaths to the commissioner, or designee.
(b) The form and manner through which the program may acquire information under RSA 132:31.
(c) The protocol to be used in carefully and sensitively contacting a family member of the deceased woman for a discussion of the events surrounding the death, allowing grieving family members to refuse such an interview.
(d) Assuring de-identification of all individuals and facilities involved in the panel review of cases.
Source. 2010, 129:2, eff. Aug. 8, 2010.
132:31 Acquisition of Information Related to Maternal Mortality.
I. If a root cause analysis of a maternal mortality event has been completed, such findings shall be included in the records supplied to the review panel.
II. Health care providers, health care facilities, clinics, laboratories, medical records departments, and state offices, agencies and departments shall report all maternal mortality deaths as defined in RSA 132:29, I-III to the chair of the panel and the commissioner, or designee. The commissioner shall have access to individually identifiable information relating to the occurrence of maternal deaths only on a case-by-case basis where public health is at risk. This information includes, but is not limited to: vital records, hospital discharge data, prenatal, fetal, pediatric, or infant medical records, hospital or clinic records, laboratory reports, records of fetal deaths or induced terminations of pregnancies, and autopsy reports. The same case information may be acquired from health care facilities, maternal mortality review programs, and other sources in other states to ensure that its records of New Hampshire maternal mortality cases are accurate and complete. The chair shall not acquire and retain any individually identifiable information.
III. The commissioner, or designee, may retain identifiable information regarding facilities where maternal deaths occur and geographical information on each case solely for the purposes of trending and analysis over time. Pursuant to RSA 132:30, VII(d), identifiable information on all individuals and facilities shall be removed prior to any case review by the panel.
Source. 2010, 129:2, eff. Aug. 8, 2010.
Parental Notification Prior to Abortion
In this subdivision:
I. "Abortion" means the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device intentionally to terminate the pregnancy of a female known to be pregnant with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove an ectopic pregnancy or the products from a spontaneous miscarriage.
II. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
III. "Department" means the department of health and human services.
IV. "Emancipated minor" means any minor female who is or has been married or has by court order otherwise been freed from the care, custody, and control of her parents.
V. "Guardian" means the guardian or conservator appointed under RSA 464-A, for pregnant females.
VI. "Minor" means any person under the age of 18 years.
VII. "Parent" means one parent of the pregnant girl if one is living or the guardian or conservator if the pregnant girl has one.
VIII. "Medical emergency" means a condition that, on the basis of the physician's good-faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.
Source. 2011, 205:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.
132:33 Notification Required.
I. No abortion shall be performed upon an unemancipated minor or upon a female for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed pursuant to RSA 464-A because of a finding of incompetency, until at least 48 hours after written notice of the pending abortion has been delivered in the manner specified in paragraphs II and III.
II. The written notice shall be addressed to the parent at the usual place of abode of the parent and delivered personally to the parent by the physician or an agent.
III. In lieu of the delivery required by paragraph II, notice shall be made by certified mail addressed to the parent at the usual place of abode of the parent with return receipt requested and with restricted delivery to the addressee, which means the postal employee shall only deliver the mail to the authorized addressee. Time of delivery shall be deemed to occur at 12 o'clock noon on the next day on which regular mail delivery takes place, subsequent to mailing.
Source. 2011, 205:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.
132:34 Waiver of Notice.
I. No notice shall be required under RSA 132:33 if:
(a) The attending abortion provider certifies in the pregnant minor's medical record that a medical emergency exists and there is insufficient time to provide the required notice; or
(b) The person or persons who are entitled to notice certify in writing that they have been notified.
II. If such a pregnant minor elects not to allow the notification of her parent or guardian or conservator, any superior court judge shall, upon petition, or motion, and after an appropriate hearing, authorize an abortion provider to perform the abortion if said judge determines that the pregnant minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent to the proposed abortion. If said judge determines that the pregnant minor is not mature, or if the pregnant minor does not claim to be mature, the judge shall determine whether the performance of an abortion upon her without notification of her parent, guardian, or conservator would be in her best interests and shall authorize an abortion provider to perform the abortion without such notification if said judge concludes that the pregnant minor's best interests would be served thereby.
(a) Such a pregnant minor may participate in proceedings in the court on her own behalf, and the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for her. Any guardian ad litem appointed under this subdivision shall maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings. The court shall, however, advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel, and shall, upon her request, provide her with such counsel.
(b) Proceedings under this section shall be held in closed court, shall be confidential and shall ensure the anonymity of the minor. All court proceedings under this section shall be sealed. The minor shall have the right to file her petition in the court using a pseudonym or using solely her initials. All documents related to this petition shall be confidential and shall not be available to the public. These proceedings shall be given such precedence over other pending matters so that the court may reach a decision promptly and without delay so as to serve the best interest of the pregnant minor. In no case shall the court fail to rule within 2 court business days from the time the petition is filed, except that the 2 court business day limitation may be extended at the request of the minor. A judge of the court who conducts proceedings under this section shall make in writing specific factual findings and legal conclusions supporting the decision and shall order a record of the evidence to be maintained including the judge's own findings and conclusions. If the court fails to rule within the 2 court business day period and an extension was not requested, then the petition shall be deemed to have been granted, and the notice requirement shall be waived.
(c) An expedited confidential appeal shall be available, as the supreme court provides by rule, to any such pregnant minor for whom the court denies an order authorizing an abortion without notification. The court shall make a ruling within 2 court business days from the time of the docketing of the appeal. An order authorizing an abortion without notification shall not be subject to appeal. No filing fees shall be required of any such pregnant minor at either the trial or the appellate level. Access to the trial court for the purposes of such a petition or motion, and access to the appellate courts for purposes of making an appeal from denial of the same, shall be afforded such a pregnant minor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
(d) The supreme court shall make rules to ensure that procedures followed in the appeals process are handled in an expeditious manner and protect the confidentiality of the parties involved in the appeal to satisfy the requirements of the federal courts.
Source. 2011, 205:2. 2012, 78:1, eff. May 23, 2012.
Performance of an abortion in violation of this subdivision shall be a misdemeanor and shall be grounds for a civil action by a person wrongfully denied notification. A person shall not be held liable under this section if the person establishes by written evidence that the person relied upon evidence sufficient to convince a careful and prudent person that the representations of the pregnant minor regarding information necessary to comply with this section are bone fide and true, or if the person has attempted with reasonable diligence to deliver notice, but has been unable to do so.
Source. 2011, 205:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.
If any provision of this subdivision or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the provisions or applications of this subdivision which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end, the provisions of this subdivision are severable.
Source. 2011, 205:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.
Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities
In this subdivision:
I. "Reproductive health care facility" means a place, other than within or upon the grounds of a hospital, where abortions are offered or performed.
II. "Patient escort services" means the act of physically escorting patients through the buffer zone to the reproductive health care facility and does not include counseling or protesting of any sort during such escort service.
Source. 2014, 81:2, eff. July 10, 2014.
132:38 Prohibited Acts.
I. No person shall knowingly enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility within a radius up to 25 feet of any portion of an entrance, exit, or driveway of a reproductive health care facility. This section shall not apply to the following:
(a) Persons entering or leaving such facility.
(b) Employees or agents of such facility acting within the scope of their employment for the purpose of providing patient escort services only.
(c) Law enforcement, ambulance, firefighting, construction, utilities, public works and other municipal agents acting within the scope of their employment.
(d) Persons using the public sidewalk or street right-of-way adjacent to such facility solely for the purpose of reaching a destination other than such facility.
II. Reproductive health care facilities shall clearly demarcate the zone authorized in paragraph I and post such zone with signage containing the following language:
Reproductive Health Center
Patient Safety Zone
No Congregating, Patrolling, Picketing, or Demonstrating Between Signs
Pursuant to RSA 132:38
III. Prior to posting the signage authorized under paragraph II, a reproductive health care facility shall consult with local law enforcement and those local authorities with responsibilities specific to the approval of locations and size of the signs to ensure compliance with local ordinances.
IV. The provisions of this section shall only be effective during the facility's business hours.
Source. 2014, 81:2, eff. July 10, 2014.
132:39 Enforcement; Civil Fine.
I. Prior to issuing a citation for a violation of this section, a police officer or any law enforcement officer shall issue one written warning to an individual. If the individual fails to comply after one warning, such individual shall be given a citation. Failure to comply after one warning shall be cause for citation whether or not the failure or subsequent failures are contemporaneous in time with the initial warning.
II. Any person who violates this subdivision shall be guilty of a violation and shall be charged a minimum fine of $100. In addition, the attorney general or the appropriate county attorney may bring an action for injunctive relief to prevent further violations of this subdivision.
III. This section shall not apply unless the signage authorized in RSA 132:38, II was in place at the time of the alleged violation.
Source. 2014, 81:2, eff. July 10, 2014.
If any provision of this subdivision or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the subdivision which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this subdivision are declared to be severable.
Source. 2014, 81:2, eff. July 10, 2014.
Child Fatality Review Committee
132:41 Child Fatality Review Committee Established.
I. The department of health and human services, in conjunction with the office of the chief medical examiner and in accordance with RSA 611-B, shall establish a child fatality review committee to conduct comprehensive, multidisciplinary reviews of preventable infant, child, and youth deaths in New Hampshire for the purpose of identifying factors associated with the deaths and to make recommendations for system changes to improve services for infants, children, and youth.
II. The objectives of the child fatality review committee shall be to:
(a) Describe trends and patterns of child deaths in New Hampshire, including sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) and sudden death in the young (SDY).
(b) Identify and investigate the prevalence of risks and risk factors among the populations of deceased children.
(c) Evaluate the service and system responses for children and families and to offer recommendations for improvement of those services.
(d) Improve the quality and comprehensiveness of child fatality data by enhancing and integrating information obtained from autopsies, death scene investigations, death certificates, police reports, medical records, and other relevant sources.
(e) Enable state agencies, law enforcement, health care providers, and community-based organizations to more effectively prevent and investigate child fatalities.
III. The child fatality review committee shall consist of the following members:
(a) The attorney general, or designee.
(b) The chief medical examiner, or designee.
(c) The director of maternal and child health, division of public health services, department of health and human services, or designee.
(d) The director of the injury prevention program, division of public health services, department of health and human services, or designee.
(e) The director of the division for children, youth and families, department of health and human services, or designee.
(f) The director of the division for behavioral health, department of health and human services, or designee.
(g) The director of the division of family assistance, department of health and human services, or designee.
(h) The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.
(i) The commissioner of the department of safety, or designee.
(j) The commissioner of the department of education, or designee.
(k) One representative of the judicial branch, appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.
(l) The director of the office of the child advocate, or designee.
(m) The director of the women, infants, and children program, division of public health services, department of health and human services, or designee.
(n) The director of the division of fire standards and training and emergency medical services, department of safety, or designee.
(o) A member of the New Hampshire Pediatric Society, appointed by the society.
(p) An early childhood education specialist, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(q) A maternal and child health specialist, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(r) A representative of a child advocacy center, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(s) A representative of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), appointed by the director of CASA.
(t) A psychiatrist or psychologist licensed in this state, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(u) A representative of a parent advocacy organization, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(v) An epidemiologist from a New Hampshire college or university, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(w) A domestic violence specialist, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(x) A representative of a statewide law enforcement officers' advisory council, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(y) A representative of a family resource center or home visiting program, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(z) A member of the public, appointed by the commissioner or the department of health and human services.
(aa) A representative of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, appointed by the association.
(bb) A representative of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, appointed by the coalition.
(cc) A representative from the fire marshal's office, appointed by the fire marshal.
IV. Members of the child fatality review committee appointed under subparagraphs III(a)-(n) shall serve a term coterminous with their term in office. Members appointed under subparagraphs III(o)-(bb) shall serve a 6-year term, provided that initial appointments shall be for staggered terms of one to 6 years.
(a) The committee shall elect 2 chairpersons from among its members. The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee, and shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.
(b) The committee may create additional subcommittees focused on specific populations such as for SUID and SDY. These subcommittees shall be subject to the same protections and responsibilities as the child fatality review committee. Membership of these subcommittees shall be determined by the co-chairpersons.
(c) Members of the committee shall sign confidentiality statements that prohibit any unauthorized dissemination of information except when disclosures may be necessary to enable the committee to carry out its duties under this subdivision. No material shall be used for reasons other than for which it was intended.
(d) The department of health and human services shall provide administrative support to the committee.
(e) The chairpersons may invite any expert or member of the public to committee meetings.
V. The child fatality review committee shall:
(a) Meet no fewer than 6 times per year to conduct reviews of child fatalities, including sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) and sudden death in the young (SDY). Subcommittees shall meet as determined by the co-chairpersons.
(b) Utilize case identification with the sole purpose of notification and data collection among state agencies. Each of the state agencies represented on the committee shall share relevant case information regarding decedents known to or enrolled in state agency programs or services. The review committee shall have access to all records of the division for children, youth and families, including case records, third party records, which include the healthcare and education records of any child receiving services from a state agency, and court records. The committee may review existing records and other information regarding the child from relevant agencies, professionals, and providers of medical, dental, prenatal, and mental health care. The information shared shall include, but not limited to, reports from health care providers, social service providers, law enforcement, and the medical examiner's office.
(c) Study the adequacy of statutes, rules, training, and services to determine what changes are needed to decrease the incidence of preventable child fatalities and, as appropriate, take steps to implement these changes.
(d) Educate the public regarding the incidence and causes of child fatalities and the public's role in preventing these deaths.
(e) Complete an annual statistical report on the incidence and causes of child fatalities in this state during the past fiscal year and submit a copy of this report, including its recommendations for action, to the governor, the senate president, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the health and human services oversight committee established in RSA 126-A:13. The committee shall submit the report on or before December 15 of each year.
VI. The committee may subpoena witnesses, records, documents, reports, reviews, recommendations, correspondence, data, and other evidence that the committee reasonably believes is relevant to the committee's objectives.
VII. (a) The committee shall maintain the confidentiality of all records pursuant to RSA 169-C:25, RSA 170-G:8-a, and all other related confidentiality laws.
(b) The information and records obtained and created in execution of the child fatality review committee's official functions shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to RSA 91-A and shall be privileged and exempt from use or disclosure in any criminal or civil matter or administrative proceeding. No person who participates in the official functions of the committee shall be compelled to testify or produce evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding with respect to any matter involving exercise of his or her official duties.
(d) Any person who knowingly discloses case records or other information obtained from committee proceedings shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 2019, 302:1, eff. July 29, 2019. 2020, 37:43, 144-147, eff. July 29, 2020.