- Pro-life organizations in Utah are pleased with Wednesday’s passing of H.B. 467, which will close all abortion clinics in the state by the start of 2024, but remain focused on more pro-life legislative efforts.
- The Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) of Salt Lake City, Pro-Life Utah and Abortion-Free Utah are looking at enacting Alternatives To Abortion (A2A) legislation that funds pregnancy resource centers and more regulation on mail-order medicated abortion.
- “We will continue to pursue legislation that offers even greater protection to the pre-born children of our state — particularly in the area of medically-induced abortions that are so dangerous,” Merilee Boyack, chairwoman of Abortion-Free Utah, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Utah pro-life organizations are taking a victory lap over the recent passage of anti-abortion legislation in the state and are now setting their sights on further legislative efforts, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed H.B. 467 into law Wednesday, which will shut down all abortion clinics in the state by the start of 2024. Now that a major legislative victory has been secured, the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) of Salt Lake City, Pro-Life Utah and Abortion-Free Utah are looking to expand pro-life legislation in the state by enacting Alternatives To Abortion (A2A) legislation and further regulate mail-order medicated abortion, the groups told the DCNF.
UPDATE: @ppacutah statement to me on @GovCox signing the bill closing abortion clinics: “Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) is exploring all options to preserve access to abortion in Utah ahead of HB 467’s effective date on May 3.” @fox13 #utpol #Utah
— Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) March 16, 2023
“We are grateful to our pro-life legislators for courageously standing up to the abortion industry and to Governor Cox for signing HB 467 into law,” George Stewart, director of Development at the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) of Salt Lake City, told the DCNF.
Specifically, the PRC of Salt Lake City would like to see the state focus on Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) legislation to financially support pregnancy resource centers. “They are best positioned to alleviate the crisis, which presently receive no state or federal funding, and which will likely see an increased need for their services,” Stewart told the DCNF.
The new Utah law will stop the licensing of abortion clinics after May 2, 2023, and ban all abortion clinics from operating after Jan. 1, 2024. It is the state’s latest legislative effort against abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June.
It also bans abortions for victims of rape and incest after 18 weeks, which is a change from the H.B. 136 law passed last year that banned abortion after 18 weeks but made exceptions for cases of rape and incest, according to a local NBC affiliate.
“We are so grateful to live in a state that protects the rights and the lives of all of its citizens, born and unborn,” Mary Taylor, president of the nonprofit organization Pro-Life Utah told the DCNF. Pro-Life Utah aims to support women considering abortion by providing resources like free ultrasounds and works to end elective abortion through legislation, offering support for those harmed by abortion and engagement in the community, according to its website.
Pro-Life Utah would like to see the legislature regulate mail-order abortion pills from overseas, which they say is very dangerous for younger women and girls because they can order the drugs without verification of their age, pregnancy or how long they’ve been pregnant. “Mail-order abortion is already banned in the state of Utah, but when it is coming from overseas, it is very hard to stop,” Taylor said.
“The Abortion-Free Coalition is enthusiastically in support of this bill. It will protect more unborn children for the state of Utah, and that is a great thing!” Merrilee Boyack, chairwoman of Abortion Free Utah, told the DCNF. Abortion Free Utah is a campaign that aims to educate and embolden citizens to stand up for the unborn and create support systems and resources in their communities, according to its website.
Abortion Free Utah would also like to see state lawmakers tackle the issue of mail-ordered medical abortions from out of state or overseas. “We will continue to pursue legislation that offers even greater protection to the pre-born children of our state—particularly in the area of medically-induced abortions that are so dangerous,” Boyack said.
“Make no mistake, this dangerous law will have a devastating impact on our communities and harm those who already have the most difficulty accessing basic health care,” Carrie Galloway, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said in a statement Thursday in response to H.B. 467.
The Utah law mirrors similar anti-abortion legislation in other states that resulted in the closure of all abortion clinics, like in Texas, where a law that banned all abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger led to all 23 clinics in the state shutting down, according to Guttmacher.org.
The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah did not respond to DCNF’s request for comment.
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