Bill to tweak Utah's abortion rules goes to governor

Published March 11, 2014 9:39 am

Avoids required video • For women who need an abortion to save their lives.
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Women who need an abortion to save their lives soon may soon no longer be required to first watch a state-mandated video and read state pamphlets on alternatives including adoption.

The House voted 72-0 Monday to pass SB71, and sent it to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature. The bill earlier also unanimously passed the Senate on a 25-0 vote.

Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, sponsor of the bill, earlier told the Senate that 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."

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.

Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, a doctor, also said earlier, "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."