Utah is one of the latest states to enact anti-abortion legislation as Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a bill that will close abortion clinics next year.
H.B. 467 Abortion Changes, sponsored by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R-Clearfield), will prohibit the licensing of abortions after May 2, 2023 and will only allow hospitals to perform them. No abortion clinic will be able operate in Utah after January 1, 2024. (RELATED: New Utah Law Requires Biological Fathers To Pay 50% Of Mother’s Pregnancy Costs)
The legislation also prohibits abortions for victims of sexual assault and incest after 18 weeks. Utah passed a law in 2019 that prohibits abortions after 18 weeks. It went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, according to a local NBC affiliate.
“We are very thankful to the governor, the courageous sponsors of this bill, and our pro-life state legislators. As states across our country move to define themselves in a post Roe v Wade world, we are so grateful to live in a state that predominantly recognizes the rights of unborn children and works to promote a culture of life for all of its citizens,” Pro-Life Utah President, Mary Taylor, told the Daily Caller.
The Salt Lake Tribune also reported that once the bill goes into full effect, the closest abortion clinics “will likely be six hours away” in Las Vegas, Nevada and Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Critics are concerned that moving abortions to facilities that are under Utah’s definition of hospital could raise the cost of abortion access in the state.
“We sent a letter to Governor Cox asking him to veto H.B. 467 because the ACLU of Utah will always view healthcare as a fundamental right. The right to bodily autonomy is a deeply held and long-recognized human and civil right,” Communications Director of ACLU Utah, Aaron Welcher, told the Daily Caller. “Legislative attempts to significantly limit a person’s reproductive freedom, including the right to decide if and when to become a parent, will be scrutinized by the ACLU of Utah.”
Rep. Lisonbee did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.