Utah Pro-Life Legislator to Introduce Abortion Ban, Personhood, Fetal Pain Bills
by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2008
Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life member of the Utah state legislature is ready to lead the fight against abortion once it heads back into session after the November elections. Rep. Stephen Sandstrom plans on a handful of bills including one that would ban most abortions.
He says he thinks the time is now to get an abortion ban in place to challenge the Supreme Court on the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy.
"It’s not a guaranteed deal, obviously," he told KSL-TV. "But if the court changes hands and we have a couple of people retire, then the door would be shut forever on a court challenge."
The abortion ban would mirror the one proposed on the November ballot in South Dakota, which prohibits abortions except in cases of rape, incest, and very limited but severe health circumstances.
Another bill is similar to the ballot measure Colorado voters will consider next month, in that it defines an unborn child as a human being at the moment of conception.
"If it’s designated as a person, then at the point of conception it would mean that it’s obviously against the law to kill a person," Sandstrom told the television station.
Sandstrom told KSL-TV that the bills didn’t proceed last session because lawmakers worried the state would have to pay attorney fees to pro-abortion groups challenging the laws in court if they prevailed.
"There are significant donors that are willing to line up and put money into a private defense fund to pay for the defense of this bill all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court," he said.
According to the state health department, there were 3,338 abortions statewide in 2003.
The Utah Department of Health estimates that 195 girls 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.
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