Party leaders react to revised bill limiting access to abortions

Mar 2, 2023, 9:30 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2023, 3:06 pm

Utah capitol -- Utah lawmakers are tackling the high costs of adoption, proposing changes that coul...

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate passed a bill Thursday that would prevent health clinics from performing abortions starting next year.

The bill still needs approval from the Utah House of Representatives.

Bill sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, joined Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on Thursday to discuss H.B. 467.


“Could you tell us everything that this bill will do?” Caplan asked.

Lisonbee says there are criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions in violation of the state’s statutes. 

“So, this would provide unprofessional conduct for those doctors,” Lisonbee said. 

Lisonbee also goes on to explain that the bill provides greater clarity about the exceptions in the case of medical emergencies. She also points out another part of the bill.

“The bill creates a presumption that children under the age of 14 who become pregnant are victims of rape or incest and are not required to report to law enforcement,” she said. “However, the doctors are still required to report the abuse.”

The bill will also prevent abortion clinics from operating in the state after Jan. 1, 2024. It also prohibits an abortion from being performed after the unborn child has reached 18 weeks old.

Furthermore, any abortions performed must be done in a hospital.

Opponents’ reaction to bill limiting access to abortions

Sen. Jen Plumb, D-Salt Lake City, also appeared on Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon Thursday to share her reaction to H.B. 467.


“You wanted to make some changes to the bill on the Senate floor this evening. What were those changes?” Caplan asked.

“I particularly have concerns about the reasons that Utah would allow women to receive abortions,” Plumb said. “We have built in there if there was a physical health concern that we would allow there to be a process for that. And for me, the mental health of a woman, a potential mother is also very, very important to consider there are mental health medications that are contraindicated.”

Plumb says she wanted the lawmakers to be thoughtful about where the exceptions would be.

“Why do you feel like this is an overall abortion ban?” Caplan asked.

“I think the intent of the law is that its ban,” Plumb said. “And that it is really difficult, if not impossible, depending on where you live and what resources you have to be able to obtain an abortion?”

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

Further reading: New bill would close Utah abortion clinics and prevent new ones

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Party leaders react to revised bill limiting access to abortions