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07/19/2024 02:37 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20230&cosponId=38552
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 12, 2022 12:23 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: RESCUE (Reporting Evidence of Sexual Crimes and Underaged Exploitation) Bill
 
I will soon be re-introducing legislation to help protect one of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable populations: children at risk of sexual abuse, exploitation, and victimization in sex-trafficking.  Senate Bill 970 of the 2021-2022 legislative session was cosponsored by Senators Martin, Mensch, J.Ward, Scavello, and Stefano. 
 
Lack of enforcement of the mandated notification of law enforcement or child protective services by healthcare providers has left these victims far too unprotected, and has allowed abusers to go on to victimize others.
 
The treatment of underage children for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortions, or contraception are to be reported to law enforcement or child protective services, but checks by and inquiries to the Department of Health indicate these mandated notifications cannot be verified.  Measures achieving certainty are needed and this bill aims to provide this.
 
This bill would require:
  • Every Department of Health inspection of health care centers must include a compliance review of records to assure child protective services or law enforcement were notified of children age 13 and under requesting or treated for contraception for purposes of pregnancy prevention (absent personal identity information).
  • Every Department of Health inspection of health care centers must include a compliance review of records to assure child protective services or law enforcement were notified of children age 14 and under treated for STDs, pregnancy or abortion (absent personal identity information).
  • Forensic samples from abortions will be preserved from mothers 14 year old and under, to preserve evidence of potential sexual assault.
  • Increased civil cause of action for parents of children 17 years and under who are not notified of their child’s sexual assault.
  • Increased civil cause of action for parents of children 17 years and under where their child’s abortion occurred without parental notification or consent.
  • Violations of these inspections by Department of Health inspectors or health care providers must be referred to the Pennsylvania State Police and Medical Licensing Board for investigation and potential criminal penalties and suspensions.
 I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

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Introduced as SB515