Guv signs revised abortion bill
Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law Monday a bill that would allow a woman who arranges an illegal abortion to be charged with criminal homicide.
The new law is in response to a case last year where a 17-year-old pregnant girl paid a man $150 to beat her in hopes of inducing a miscarriage. A judge ruled there was no law on Utah's books allowing the mother to be charged with a crime.
The bill's original version drew national headlines because it allowed criminal charges if the mother's behavior was "reckless." That raised concerns that a mother who fell on the ice or was an avid jogger and suffered a miscarriage could be charged with a crime.
Herbert balked at signing that language and the bill's sponsor, Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, quickly revised the legislation to remove the word "reckless."
Herbert vetoed the original legislation, HB12, Monday -- his first veto as a governor -- and signed the revised version, HB462.
"I appreciate the willingness of Representative Wimmer to re-evaluate the impact of potential unintended consequences arising from the inclusion of 'reckless' behavior" in the original bill, Herbert wrote in his veto letter. "[The revised bill] is more consistent with the true intent of the legislation and addresses those situations in which the termination of a pregnancy is intentional and is not conducted at a physician's direction."