After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed legislation restricting the medical procedure. By banning all abortion clinics in the state by the beginning of next year, Utah becomes the newest Republican-led state to do so.
Following its swift passage through the Utah legislature on Wednesday, H.B. 467 Abortion Changes was signed by the Republican governor.
The divisive bill prohibits the licensing of abortion clinics beginning on May 3 and mandates that abortions only be performed in locations that meet the definition of a hospital. All currently operating abortion clinics are required to close by January 1 or, if earlier, when their licenses expire.
The legislation also makes a number of additional changes to the law regarding abortion, such as eliminating the exceptions for rape and incest on getting an abortion after the state’s current limit of 18 weeks of a pregnancy.Thank you, Governor Cox, for signing this legislation into law, according to a statement from Pro-Life Utah. “We appreciate your dedication to safeguarding the unborn.”
The bill’s opponents claim that it effectively restricts access to abortion in the state and provides a workaround after the state’s trigger abortion ban was upheld in court.
After the conservative Supreme Court invalidated the important 1973 Roe v. Wade decision last summer, Utah had passed a nearly complete abortion ban in 2020 that became effective. The rule was suspended, though, after Planned Parenthood claimed it went against the state’s constitution.After HB 467 passed the legislature earlier this month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s president and chief executive officer, Alexis McGill Johnson, issued a statement calling it “nothing but shameful procedural and political maneuvering” designed to circumvent a legitimate court ruling and deny Utahns access to abortion.
It will have devastating effects on Utah communities. “Today’s passage is just one of a nationwide campaign by anti-abortion extremists to end legal abortion throughout the United States.”
After Roe v. Wade was overturned, numerous Republican-led states sought to either restrict or outright ban abortion, while some Democratic states moved to enshrine abortion as a fundamental right in response.