Utah Senate Ups Penalties for Illegal Second-Trimester Abortions, House Next
by Steven Ertelt
February 20, 2009
Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — The Utah state Senate has approved a bill making second-trimester abortions illegal and now the measure heads to the state House, which must vote on it again after minor changes were made on the Senate side. The House already signed off on the bill earlier this month.
The Senate voted 21-4 for the bill and co-sponsor Sen. Curt Bramble said government has a right and responsibility to protect unborn children.
"We have to ask ourselves: If not us, if not now, who will protect the most vulnerable, who will protect of the unborn child? And when a physician chooses to perform an abortion illegally," Bramble said, according to KCPW. "I think this bill is clear, it should be a criminal offense."
The bill ups the penalty for doing an illegal later-term abortion to a second degree felony from a third degree felony.
The House previously approved HB 90 on a 56-16 vote and the bill would make doing an illegal abortion a second-degree felony homicide. Legislators rejected an amendment to reduce the penalties.
"We’re not arguing abortion, we’re not redefining it," sponsoring Rep. Paul Ray, a Republican, said.
"If someone does an illegal abortion, it’s a felony. If an unborn child is killed by someone punching a woman in the stomach, it is murder. This just brings illegal abortions up to the same standard, no matter in what manner you murder the fetus," he explained, according to the Deseret News.
Abortion advocates say the bill will be taken to court and cost the state millions, but backers disagree that it would be declared unconstitutional.
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