HB253 Abortion Amendments (Informed Consent Bill)
What Would It Do?
This bill would amend Utah’s Informed Consent requirements and abortion laws. It would strengthen the ability to audit compliance, add high resolution ultrasound images with an audible heartbeat, add more realistic images of abortion procedures, and enforce the face-to-face physically present consultation requirement. It would also add fines and penalties to infractions of these laws.
What Is the Background?
In 2018, our original informed consent bill passed. As a result, the Department of Health created and maintained an information module to ensure women seeking abortions receive all of the information regarding their babies’ development, the abortion procedure, etc., without prejudice. Although that bill was an important step, this bill provides much-needed improvements—namely, adding fines and penalties that will ensure that abortion facilities follow the law as it is written.
Why Does This Bill Matter?
Abortion providers in Utah currently face no consequence for failing to offer women the necessary information they need to make an informed decision before undergoing an abortion–in other words, as the law stands, abortion providers may break the law without punishment. This bill needs to pass in order to protect women by ensuring that they better understand the decision of an abortion before it happens. We predict it will reduce the number of abortions as well as the degree and prevalence of post-abortive regret.
What Can I Do?
HB253 Abortion Amendments did not pass during the 2021 Legislative Session, but we hope for better results next session.
Read the bill here: https://le.utah.gov/~2021/bills/static/HB0253.html
How to read bills: Language with no formatting is EXISTING LAW included in the bill for context; Language that is underlined is being ADDED to existing law; Language that is struck through is being DELETED from existing law.
First step: Bill is numbered & available to the public; Rules Committee assigns the bill to a Standing Committee (usually based on the bill subject)
Second step: Bill passes the House Committee
Third step: Bill passes the House
Fourth step: Bill passes the Senate Committee
Fifth step: Bill passes the Senate
FINAL step: Governor signs the bill