UTAH

Utah lawmakers issue stern warning to doctors about abortion

Sep 15, 2022, 7:04 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2022, 10:12 am
utah diverse...
One of the many bills being discussed during the 2023 legislative session is focuses on a concept of school choice and teacher salary. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Update: 9:53 p.m.

Rep. Lisonbee issued her first comments Thursday since issuing a warning to healthcare providers earlier in the day.

 

Our previous reporting

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of Utah State lawmakers issued a warning to abortion providers on Thursday. 

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield and Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, issued a stern warning in the form of a letter Thursday to doctors that abortions remain a felony in Utah.

 

The letter claims that while Utah’s abortion trigger law is on hold and being sorted out in the courts if a doctor performs an abortion during this time, the state could then come after them. 

Additionally, the two Utah lawmakers are promising legislation that will strip medical licenses of anyone who violates the trigger ban using the injunction as a defense.

 

A total of 22 members of the House signed the letter, but it did not come from the House. Two others who signed on are candidates for seats in the House of Representatives. However, Rep. Steve Handy, R-Clearfield, told KSL NewsRadio he didn’t know what he was signing. 

“My understanding when I was presented the letter is that it was more cautionary,” Handy told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News. “It seems to me, that the letter is a little harsher than I recall agreeing to sign on to. 

Handy told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News he is walking away from his signature, and that Lisonbee and Birkeland are wrong.

 

“I’m in a position where all of this, as law-abiding citizens, we follow the law,” he said. “And currently, my understanding is that, up to 18 weeks abortion is legal. But I’m hoping that the courts will institute the trigger law that I also voted for.”

Karrie Galloway, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, issued the following statement.

“Our lawyers are reviewing the letter, but this appears to be a stunt to further harass abortion providers and stigmatize patients who need care,” the statement read. “PPAU is providing abortion care in full compliance with current law and always has. We are here for our patients and will continue to do everything we can to make sure all Utahns can get the health care they need.”

The ACLU of Utah also signed on to PPAU’s statement. 

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Utah lawmakers issue stern warning to doctors about abortion