Utah Legislature Backs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, Funding Prohibitions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Utah Legislature Backs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, Funding Prohibitions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 26, 2004

Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — The Utah state Senate on Monday approved, on a 25-3 vote, a ban on partial-birth abortions. Now, the pro-life measure goes to the state House for consideration.

The legislation prohibits any method of killing an unborn child during delivery, including a saline injection. The bill allows for an exception if the abortion is needed to save the life of the mother, though most doctors say that is unnecessary, but it does not provide a health exception that pro-life groups say would keep all such abortions legal.

Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, is the main sponsor of the legislation.

Meanwhile, Utah lawmakers last week gave initial approval to legislation that would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions in the state.

The state Senate approved that pro-life bill on a 27-0 vote with Senate Democrats joining their Republican colleagues in supporting the bill as long as it is constitutional and doesn’t cost the state government too much money to implement.

"Eighty-five percent of my constituents don’t want public funding of the procedure," said Stansbury Park Democratic Sen. Ron Allen during the debate. "It doesn’t make my job easy. But at the end of the day, I’m here to represent the people."

Bramble also sponsored the funding ban bill and said he wasn’t sure how many abortions were paid for by the state using Medicaid dollars.

"Some groups claim several thousand a year. Others claim there have been none. I have sought statistics and haven’t been able to find a credible source," he said.

"Abortions are reprehensible and taxpayers should not be forced to pay for a procedure they oppose," Bramble added.