Utah lawmakers clarify position on abortion trigger law after sending cease and desists to abortion providers
Sep 16, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:19 am
(Becky Bruce/ KSL NewsRadio)
SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah lawmakers have clarified that a claim they made about the legality of abortion in Utah did not involve legislative attorneys, and was instead, only their opinion.
In a letter made public yesterday, Rep. Kira Birkeland and Rep. Karianne Lisonbee claimed that doctors who are performing abortions in Utah can be retroactively charged with breaking the law.
Today, Reps Lisonbee and Birkeland said some of their legislative colleagues thought the legislative staff was involved in the letter. With their announcement today, they wanted to make it clear the staff was not involved.
#NEW @UtahKarianne and @KeraBirk clarifying that their claim of abortions being illegal while the law is stayed, and thus able to be retroactively prosecuted in letters sent to Utah abortion providers… is their opinion and the opinion of 22 Utah lawmakers @kslnewsradio #utpol pic.twitter.com/WVvbaMt2f1
— Lindsay Aerts (@LindsayOnAir) September 16, 2022
On Thursday, Birkeland and Lisonbee announced they’d warned doctors and health care providers about the current legality of most abortions in Utah. They stated that abortions are a felony in Utah and warned doctors about future prosecution.
Utah’s trigger law, S.B. 174, outlaws most abortions in Utah. It was activated when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade earlier this year.
But S.B. 174 is on hold until a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Utah and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, asserting that the trigger law is unconstitutional, is adjudicated.
“Abortion remains a criminal offense in Utah,” the letter from Birkeland and Lisonbee incorrectly stated. “And the trigger ban is in effect.”
However, the law currently in effect in Utah, H.B. 136, allows for abortions until a fetal age of 18 weeks.
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