Utah Abortion Bills on Parental Consent, Fetal Pain Advance to House

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Utah Abortion Bills on Parental Consent, Fetal Pain Advance to House Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 18, 2006

Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life legislation that would require parental consent before a teen can have an abortion and would inform women considering abortions about the pain unborn children feel have both been cleared for debate on the House floor.

Representative Kerry Gibson, an Ogden Republican, sponsored a bill that would tighten the state’s parental involvement law form informing parents of a minor teen before her abortion to prohibiting abortions on teens without parental consent.

Exceptions would be made in rare cases such as rape or physical abuse, in which case a judicial bypass provision is included.

Gibson said the decision about an abortion should be made with a family and not by staff influencing a teenager alone at an abortion center.

The Utah Department of Health estimates that 195 girls had abortions in Utah two years ago, according to the latest statistics available. Twenty-four of the girls were younger than 15 and 171 were 15 to 17.

Gibson says he was inspired by his ten-year-old daughter to sponsor the bill, known as HB 85.

“This is a parental rights issue. I’m responsible for anything my child does underage…It’s critical parents give their consent to this," Gibson told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Twenty-eight Republican House members have signed on as cosponsors for the legislation but Planned Parenthood CEO Kari Galloway said her group opposed the legislation.

David Litvack, a Salt Lake Democrat, was the only vote in the committee against the bill.

Meanwhile, another bill that would inform women having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that their unborn child would feel pain cleared a House committee as well.

Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield sponsored the legislation which the House Health and Human Services Committee approved on a 7-1 vote.

Ray said he modeled the legislation after a similar proposal that the Minnesota legislature approved last year.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your legislators and urge strong support for the parental consent bill to help reduce the number of teen abortions. Go to https://www.le.state.ut.us.