Bill to establish 72-hour waiting period for abortions gets preliminary Senate OK

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to extend to 72 hours the waiting period for women seeking abortions in Utah received preliminary approval in the Utah Senate Wednesday afternoon. There was no debate or discussion. The bill was moved to the Senate’s final passage calendar on a vote of 22-6.

HB461, sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, would triple the current waiting period, which is 24 hours. Utah would have one of the nation’s longest waiting periods between the initial consultation and the procedure. However, the bill was amended to allow the initial consultation to occur anywhere in the state.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said if he could, he would sponsor legislation to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to abortion without undue interference from the government.

While there was no debate, two Salt Lake Democrats expressed their objections while voting.

Sen. Gene Davis said women have a right to health care, a right to control their own bodies and a right to choice.

“I don’t believe trying to frustrate an individual from making that choice is appropriate for the state to be involved in and I vote no,” Davis said.

Sen. Ross Romero said the state already has a 24-hour waiting period. “I’m sure this is a very difficult decision made with reflection and consultation with family, religious leaders and others.” Extending the waiting period likely would not change their decisions, he said.

Romero said he does not believe government should interfere the matter.

“We already have a law on the books that is more than adequate.”


One comment

  1. Delbert Wilson

    This may well be the most troubling article I have read in a very long time. A very significant majority of our elected representatives supported this measure but it seems an overwhelming majority of the citizens are opposed to it. What has happened to our representative form of government in Utah?

    My put? If you think about the historically very light participation in our GOP caucus meetings then delve a bit deeper to see who for the most part HAVE been supporting them I believe you will find they are predominantly the far right. They, more than any other group have determined the makeup of our elected officials. And I’m sure this is even more true for the Democratic party. And it is happening not only in Utah but nationally! This is wake-up call; standing room only caucuses should be the norm not the exception. This apathy is the root of the very serious problems our nation is facing today. If you value your freedom get informed, get involved, and vote – intelligently! And demand wholesale improvements in out education system. We the people must retake control and assert our Constitutional rights or we will soon not have them.

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.