Utah bill protects women's health and unborn children

HB 136, Abortion Amendments, prohibits an abortion from being performed after the unborn child reaches 18 weeks in gestation.

Current Utah law allows an elective abortion to be performed up to the age of viability of the fetus – about 22 weeks. The current law also allows exceptions including life of the mother, permanent impairment of the mother, a fatal fetal defect, rape or incest.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Deidre Henderson, changes the window for an elective abortion for any reason to 18 weeks. Additionally, the bill includes an exception for a severe brain abnormality, which would ultimately lead to a vegetative state.

There are inherent risks to the mental and physical health of a woman undergoing an elective abortion. This bill seeks to temper those risks as much as possible, while still maintaining a woman’s right to choose.

The bill passed both the House and Senate, and was sent to the governor for his consideration.

You can read or check out audio/video of the bill here.