Utah Abortion Law: When are abortions allowed, and can it change?

Like a bomb, Leaked U.S. Supreme Court Decision Draft Sent Responding nationwide, igniting new debates on reproductive rights And what about the future of the legal status of patchwork for each state of abortion access?

Utah 13 states that already have a trigger method A place to ban abortion if the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade case is overturned.

However, Utah’s 2020 trigger ban is not as advanced as in other states such as Texas and Oklahoma, including exemptions from rape and incest, risks to the lives of mothers, and certain fetal defects.

So could a potential Supreme Court decision encourage conservative Utah lawmakers to further extend the Trigger Act and perhaps abolish the exemption?

This is what house minority leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said was paying attention. In particular, the Utah Republican Party was the far-right candidate at the state convention last month, with the delegation on the far right.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see people calling on Congress to hold a special session … dealing with some of these feelings on the part of the hardcore ideology within the Republican Party. “The most restrictive reproductive rights code available in Utah,” King said.

“Today’s Republicans say,’We can’t give up our reproductive rights too tightly,'” King added. “So Utah is running competitively to see if we can overtake Texas and Oklahoma? You must be us a lot. In the hearts of Republicans, you bet. ”

Utah 2020 Trigger Act sponsors say they believe SB174 They’ve got the right balance, but they also leave the door open for future conversations about whether to “sophisticate” or tweak the triggering method in the future. Of course, we are waiting for a formal decision from the Supreme Court.

“When we passed SB174, there was a lot of conversation about whether the exemption was wide enough to puncture the policy, and that’s what we have to monitor over time.” R-Riverton’s Senator Dan Mackay told Deseret News on Tuesday.

The flag against abortion is depicted during the annual “March for Life” in Salt Lake City on January 22, 2022.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

“Tough balance”

McKay and Bill’s house sponsor R-Clearfield’s Congressman Callianne Risonby said the debate over Utah’s abortion law is likely to surface again. They said they were unaware of the widespread conservative Utah move to roll back all exemptions, but it has already been debated whether to tweak them.

“We need to monitor the exemption and make sure it is sophisticated enough to properly balance the proper abortion policy in Utah,” McKay said.

Some issues that may need to be clarified, McKay said, are whether there needs to be a time limit before an abortion is allowed if the mother’s health is compromised, or “rape”. And what counts as incest, “and whether the case needs to be” completely aborted as rape. ” Regarding the latter, McKay said he thinks it shouldn’t go that far.

But above all, McKay said it was too early to discuss this before the Supreme Court actually ruled.

“Instead of looking at the hypothesis about how we change things, we look at the actual Supreme Court’s decision in front of us, and what the court restores to the state regarding its decision-making power. We will start making appropriate policy decisions based on that, “he says. He said.

“It’s hard to balance,” he added. “Everyone is certainly interested in the policy, but it is the fetus that is silent in the process. And make sure we are doing everything we can to protect them. need to do it.”

Is there a move to expand the trigger method?

At least some representatives within the Utah Republican Party have expressed interest in moving away from abortion exemptions. A Proposed platform fix To save the life of the mother, or in the case of rape or incest, instead of replacing the language with one to “encourage adoption,” the language would have been removed.

The party’s vote on the platform modification was never taken, and the lack of quorum needed to vote during the decline of the tournament disappointed Bob McKenty of Weber County, who made the modification.

McKenty said the party proposed a platform change to “emphasize recruitment” instead of “not emphasizing” the exemption. According to him, the purpose was to “silence” the exemption and “not only reflect one religion in the state, but leave it to the individual.”

Utah’s dominant religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Opposes Abortion However, if the pregnancy is due to rape or incest, “if a competent doctor determines that the life or health of the mother is at serious risk”, or “a competent doctor has severely affected the fetus.” If we determine that there is a defect, we will allow the member to be exempted. Allows your baby to survive after birth. ”

“Catholics do not believe in any exemptions,” McKenty said, but “the evangelicals may be a little confused, so we are a reflection of the Republican Party and in any church doctrine. He believed there was enough support to pass the amendment if it came to a vote, but McKenty also said there were different opinions on the issue within the party. Stated.

It is important to note that the platform language proposal is not the same as the legislative effort, but it does indicate that at least some members of the Utah GOP are working on the exemption issue.

Mr. Lisonby said he had heard that some Utines “strongly demanded restrictions on abortion policies that do not include exemptions.”

“I don’t think it will pass in Utah,” Lissonby added. “But I could be wrong.”

The exemptions currently outlined in Utah’s Trigger Act are “balanced” in weighing “the nuances of the various policies surrounding abortion law,” Risonby said. If there were tweaks in the law, she wouldn’t “substantially change the direction of policy,” but rather “the language might or wasn’t as clear as possible.” We will focus on addressing some concerns that may be. ” It does not match the entire abortion law. “

“It may happen,” Risonby said.

Senator Stuart Adams, R-Layton, also said he believes SB174 “balances properly.” He hopes the discussion will surface in the next general session in January, but “no effort has been seen to attempt a special session.”

“If we need to make adjustments in the future, I think we’ll do that,” Adams said, calling it a “good bill” with “justification for these three exemptions.”

If the bill goes into effect, lawmakers said they could know if the bill needed to be “sophisticated” when it was in control.

What do you think of the anti-abortion group?

Well-known conservative power broker, Gale Luzika At the Utah State Capitol as chairman of the Utah State Capitol, she told Dezalet News that she was in favor of SB174 as written, and she doesn’t think removing the exemption would fly.

“It’s a good bill and I hope it stays the same,” she said.

Ruzicka pointed out that the bill passed the 2020 Utah State Capitol with a “strong vote.” House And that Senate — Some moderate Republicans have joined the Democratic Party to vote against it. She also said SB174 was the product of collaboration with a coalition of anti-abortion groups who worked together on this issue.

“As you know, not all groups belong to that coalition, but almost all groups belong to it, and we cooperated with the bill from the beginning,” she said. “So I think the organization as a whole will act as usual. We will discuss it in a coalition, look at the details and make decisions. And anyway, I have now. I see you sticking to what you have. ”


D-Salt Lake City Rep. Angela Romero will speak at a rally for the right to abort at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

“Greater concern”

D-Salt Lake City Rep. Angela Romero issued a statement on Tuesday expressing serious concern about the impact of the leaked Supreme Court ruling, calling it “an unprecedented assault on anyone who can get pregnant anywhere.” is.

“Sadly, if this decision holds, Utah is one state where abortion services are forced to move underground. Banning abortions does not stop people from seeking abortions. Thousands of women will endanger their lives and many will face catastrophic and lasting consequences for themselves and their families. In Utah, nearly half of those who have an abortion. Are already parents, “Romero said.

Romero is “definitely concerned” about her and is wary of any efforts to limit Utah’s abortion beyond what has already been outlawed by state trigger legislation. But her “greater concern” is about the already passed law “affecting our most people,” a vulnerable community member. ”

For Utahns, who can afford to travel out of state for abortion, the state-wide ban is only inconvenient. But for low-income Utah and ethnic minorities who are no longer well-served, it’s a much bigger problem, she said, and would drive them “underground.”

“Even if we develop stricter guidelines here in Utah or ban abortion altogether, people will still have an abortion,” she said. “And when people are in a desperate situation, they will take desperate steps.”

Ruzicka said the goal of the anti-abortion coalition has always been to “protect the fetus” and “help mothers overcome difficult times and the care they need” and will continue to focus on it.

“We worked with her to help her make these difficult decisions and give her the help she needed to overcome them,” she said. “So we want to work harder to do those things and help these moms stay with their babies …. need to be supported throughout these times. . ”

https://www./utah/2022/5/3/23055357/abortion-leak-us-supreme-court-decision-scotus-utah-whats-next-trigger-law-pro-life-pro-choice Utah Abortion Law: When are abortions allowed, and can it change?

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