POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah House committee advances bill banning abortion clinics

Feb 16, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 11:01 am

The Utah House Judiciary Committee has passed H.B.467 onto the full house for consideration. If mad...

Members of the public speak as the House Judiciary committee hears Bills HB0467 at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House Judiciary Committee has passed H.B.467 onto the full house for consideration. If made into law, H.B. 467 would de-license all abortion clinics in Utah and forbid any new such clinics from opening.

Debate lasted for over an hour on Wednesday, where lawmakers heard a range of comments from the Utah public. Andrew Soncrant is a deacon at a church in South Jordan.

“The Bible states that we will all stand before God on the day of judgment and have to give an account for our actions,” he told the committee. “Therefore, I urge you before the time is too late to repent and turn away from the slaughter of the unborn that plagues our nation.”

Opposing arguments included experiences from health practitioners like Jasmine Charles who said low socio-economic and at-risk women will lose out the most.

“The riddance of clinical access to care will increase cost and decrease access,” she said. “We will also decrease the care of those individuals who cannot financially afford to come into hospitals.”

Committee members also expressed their opinions on the matter. Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, noted the potential effect on healthcare providers.

“I think the effect of the bill, clearly, is to target this group of healthcare providers to put abortion out of the reach of as many Utahns as possible,” King said.

For Rep. Kera Birkland, R-Morgan, the issue revolves around liberty.

“I am all for liberty, 100% for liberty,” she said. “Especially for our most vulnerable and our most innocent. I want them to have liberty.”

The bill now moves to the Utah Senate after passing out of the House Judiciary Committee on a vote of 9-2.

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Utah House committee advances bill banning abortion clinics