Utah Governor Bans Abortion Clinics

The bill “strikes the very best balance of protecting innocent life and protecting women who experience rare and dangerous circumstances,” said Utah state representative Karianne Lisonbee (R).

QUICK FACTS:
  • Utah Republican Governor Spencer Cox signed the “Abortion Changes” bill preventing abortion clinics from obtaining new licenses and prohibiting clinics from administering abortions after 18 weeks gestation in 2024.
  • The bill “prohibits the ability to receive an abortion due to rape or incest if the unborn child has reached 18 weeks gestational age” and “requires a physician, in the case of a diagnosis of a lethal fetal anomaly, to give notice of the availability of perinatal hospice and perinatal palliative care services as an alternative to abortion.”
  • “No abortion clinic may operate in the state on or after January 1, 2024,” the bill states.
  • “We in Utah have a long-standing tradition — since before statehood — of protecting the unborn by outlawing abortion,” said Utah state representative Karianne Lisbonee (R), who authored the bill.
  • “We have compassionate exemptions, and we have compassionate law and services for women who find themselves in a situation, and we as a state ought to support them in making the decision that they need to make. That’s what this bill does, in a compassionate and thoughtful way,” Lisbonee continued.
  • When asked about the details of the bill prior to signing, Gov. Cox said, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll be signing the bill.”
PRO-ABORTION REACTIONS:
  • CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah Karrie Galloway claimed the abortion provider is “exploring all options to preserve access to abortion in Utah ahead of HB 467′s effective date on May 3.”
  • Executive director of the ACLU of Utah Brittney Nystrom said at a news conference that the ACLU is “looking out for possible constitutional violations” of the law.
  • “So we will be taking a close look at laws that restrict rights and freedoms of individuals and in making decisions on whether to continue those challenges in court,” Nystrom added.
BACKGROUND:
  • The Republican Utah governor has also signed a bill banning sex changes for minors.
  • American Faith reported that the bill calls for a review of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex change surgeries for minors.
  • “The evidence for whether or not this actually does what we hope it does for these individuals is weak. It’s available, but it’s weak,” said Utah Senator Mike Kennedy (R). “All I’m asking for is that we be thoughtful about what is a novel treatment before we open this up to whatever anybody wants to do.”

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