Friday, March 17, 2023

New Utah Law Requires All Abortions To Be In Hospitals, Not In Clinnics

On Wednesday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed HB467 (full text) which requires that after January 1, 2024, all abortions be performed in hospitals, not in abortion clinics. Additionally, it expands the exception for rape and incest to also include any pregnancy of a child under 14 years of age. In another change, however, the new law allows abortions in all of these cases only before 18 weeks of pregnancy. The new law also makes a number of other changes in the state's abortion statutes.  Legislative history of the bill is available here.  AP reports on the new law. AP says in part:

Last year’s Supreme Court ruling [in Dobbs] triggered two previously passed pieces of legislation— a 2019 ban on abortion after 18 weeks and a 2020 ban on abortions regardless of trimester, with several exceptions including for instances of risk to maternal health as well as rape or incest reported to the police. The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah sued over the 2020 ban, and in July, a state court delayed implementing it until legal challenges could be resolved. The 18-week ban has since been de facto law.

Abortion-access proponents have decried this year’s clinic ban as a back door that anti-abortion lawmakers are using to limit access while courts deliberate.