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Senate pushes a tweak to Utah abortion laws, sends it to House

Published March 7, 2014 12:54 pm

Less tight • Women who need one to save life need not look at state-mandated info.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Senate on Friday supported tweaking abortion laws so that a woman who needs one to save her life could do so without first needing to see a state-mandated video on alternatives and read information including options for adoption.

The Senate voted 25-0 to pass SB71, and sent it to the House for consideration.

Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, sponsor of the bill, said it is a narrow exception that may affect 60 to 100 women a year. "It is the compassionate thing to do, the right thing to do."

Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, said, "We need to make sure those doctors can act readily without fear, and we need to give comfort to that family and that mother."

Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, a doctor, said, "The last thing we need in a life-threatening situation is to have our hands tied and make the patient feel emotionally worse to watch a mandatory video."

The bill would allow avoiding the video and information when an "abortion is necessary to avert the woman's death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function," or when two doctors agree that a fetus has a fatal defect.