Gov. Spencer Cox (R-Utah) signed a bill banning abortion clinics across the state as Republicans continue their fight to protect the life of unborn babies.
The bill, now a statewide law, will require abortion clinics to shut down their doors by 2024 or when their medical licenses expire, whichever comes first.
The bill also bans women from having the procedure after 18 weeks of pregnancy.
Under the new law, all abortions will be forced to take place in a hospital where the procedure can be monitored by doctors who will adhere to the 18-week rule.
“Starting January 1, 2024, inducing or performing an abortion contrary to statutory requirements is unprofessional conduct for health care providers. Prohibits the abortion of children conceived as a result of rape or incest after they have reached 18 weeks gestational age and requires a physician in the case of a diagnosis of a lethal fetal anomaly to give notice of the availability of perinatal hospice and perinatal palliative care services as an alternative to abortion,” the bill states.
Lawmakers in Utah said the bill would protect “the innocent” and “the unborn,” which was previously passed in 2019 but didn’t go into effect until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The law has angered pro-abortion advocates, who are threatening to find a way around the 1,446-line pro-life bill.
Planned Parenthood lobbyist Jason Stevenson said the association would be “looking closely” at the wording in the bill to find loopholes so that clinics can apply for new licenses.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Utah Hospital Association said it was way “too early to comment” on whether hospitals would become abortion providers in the state, adding that each facility “will need to determine how they choose to proceed.”
Cox described the bill as a “cleanup” of the state’s previous trigger ban on abortion, adding that it gives “clarity” to those who think killing an unborn baby is expected.
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