Utah Governor Signs Three Pro-Life Bills to Limit Abortions, Law Firm Will Help
by Steven Ertelt
March 24, 2009
Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — On Friday, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., signed three pro-life bills to help limit abortions in the state. They provide new protections for unborn children, require abortion practitioners to provide women with certain information, and establish a fund for defense of a future bill to ban abortions.
Huntsman signed bills HB 90, HB 222, and HB 114 into law on Friday.
The first measure, HB 90, makes second-trimester abortions illegal and ups the penalty for doing an illegal later-term abortion to a second degree felony from a third degree felony.
HB 222 is a bill to allow women to know about the pain an abortion will cause to their unborn child.
The bill requires abortion practitioners to tell women about the pain their baby will feel during an abortion. The measure is another effort to help reduce abortions until the day comes that unborn children are protected under law.
The Utah Senate passed the bill on a 22-4 vote after the House approved HB 222 on a 56-15 vote last month.
The bill allows women considering an abortion to provide anesthesia to the baby beforehand, which helps underscore how the abortion will hurt the baby. It allows them 24 hours to consider the pain information before going through with the abortion.
The final bill, HB 114, would create a legal defense fund that private citizens could donate to in order to defend an abortion ban they expect to receive approval of by 2014.
Sponsoring lawmakers want to create a fund to raise money to be able to afford attorneys to defend the ban in court after it is approved in future years.The fund will be open for five years and if there is not enough money to defend the abortion ban after that period, the money will be used to support abortion alternatives.
Following Huntsman signing the bills, attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life law firm, told LifeNews.com they are available to provide free legal support for them if challenged by abortion advocates in court.
ADF attorneys sent letters to Utah Reps. Paul Ray and Carl Wimmer with the offer.
“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless. Utah’s new laws are simply common-sense measures to protect innocent, viable children and their mothers in line with rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court,” ADF Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden said.
ADF-allied attorney Frank Mylar of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, would help the lawmakers if needed.
“A fully informed woman and the life of her child are worth more than an abortionist’s bottom line,” he told LifeNews.com. “We are pleased to offer our legal assistance, free of charge, to ensure these protections are not stripped away.”
According to the state health department, there were 3,338 abortions statewide in 2003.
The Utah Department of Health estimates that 195 girls under 18 had abortions in Utah then, according to the latest statistics available. Twenty-four of the girls were younger than 15 and 171 were 15 to 17.
ACTION: Contact Governor Huntsman at http://www.utah.gov/governor/contact/index.html and thank him for signing the three bills into law.
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