Harrisburg, Pa. − November 16, 2023 − Today, House Bill 507, the companion bill to Senator Maria Collett & Senator Katie Muth’s Senate Bill 549, was sent to Governor Shapiro’s desk for his signature. The legislation requires medical facilities in Pennsylvania to obtain consent before performing pelvic, rectal or prostate exams performed on anesthetized patients.
A 2019 survey found that 92% of medical students had performed pelvic exams on anesthetized patients and, alarmingly, 61% of those students did not have “explicit patient consent” for the exam.
“As a nurse, I know just how critical it is that practitioners can learn how to administer care on actual patients – but that training should never come at the expense of a patient’s right to bodily autonomy,” said Senator Collett. “This legislation will close an archaic loophole in Pennsylvania, requiring medical students to obtain consent from patients undergoing anesthesia before conducting a pelvic, prostate or rectal exam for training purposes. As a proud prime sponsor of the Senate version of this bill, I’m thrilled to see it finally head to the Governor’s desk where my colleagues and I are confident he will sign it into law.”
HB507 unanimously passed the PA Senate on Tuesday, followed by unanimous approval in the PA House on Wednesday. With the governor’s signature, Pennsylvania will join at least 20 states that ban nonconsensual pelvic exams.
Watch Senator Collett’s floor remarks in support of the bill here.