Utah Senate Passes Abortion Procedures Ban Without Health Exception

The Utah Senate last week passed an abortion procedures ban that does not include an exception for a woman’s health. The bill, SB 69, is “virtually a carbon-copy” of the federal abortion procedure ban signed into law by President Bush last year, the Deseret Morning News reports. Utah Democrats argue that the bill was unnecessary because the federal ban already enacted into law applies throughout the country, including Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Democrats complained that the bill was not only unconstitutional, it would require the state to expend funds for a costly court battle that is a waste of time and money given that the federal government is already in court to defend the national ban.

The Utah Senate also passed a ban on public funding for abortions, the Deseret Morning News reports. The bill, SB 68, would make access to abortions for low-income women virtually impossible and would result in the removal of health insurance coverage for state employees. Sen. Curt Bramble (R-Provo) hoped that the bill would be interpreted by the courts to also require doctors and clinics that receive any state funds to halt abortion services.

The Feminist Majority, along with its reproductive rights allies, is organizing a massive national March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC on April 25, 2004. “The recent passage of a federal abortion procedures ban is creating an outrage fueling the march,” said Feminist Majority March Coordinator Jessica Terlikowski.

TAKE ACTION Sign Up for the March for Women’s Lives!

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Salt Lake Tribune 1/27/04; Deseret Morning News 1/24/04; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 1/27/04

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