Although abortion remains legal in the State of Utah, a new law promises to give some protection to unborn babies. Governor Spencer Cox on Wednesday signed legislation banning abortion clinics in the state.
The new law begins to take effect May 3, when abortion clinics will no longer be able to obtain state licenses. Currently, there are four clinics in the Beehive State. Next year, the new law will require abortions to be performed in hospitals.
The purpose of the legislation, said its sponsor, Republican State Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, is to protect innocent life while at the same time “protecting women who experience rare and dangerous circumstances.”
The bill passed by a margin of 22-6 in the state senate, and 56-14, with 5 abstentions, in the house.
Trigger ban delayed
Utah had a so-called trigger law banning abortion that would take effect when the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which it did last June. But a court order has been holding that law up. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is appealing that court order.
Jason Stevenson, a lobbyist at the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said his organization would “examine the wording, implications and whether other provisions of the bill allowed clinics to apply for a new kind of license to perform hospital-equivalent services,” the Associated Press reported.
Lisonbee’s bill also requires doctors to provide information about perinatal hospice and palliative care to pregnant mothers whose unborn babies are diagnosed with a fatal condition. It also prohibits abortions after 18 weeks in cases of rape and incest.