Abortion will be banned in Utah now that Roe v. Wade is overturned
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday which will trigger Utah's ban on abortions.
- In 2020, state lawmakers passed an abortion ban that would take effect if the court overturned Roe.
What's next: Utah's ban will take effect once the state's legislative general counsel certifies to lawmakers that the court has allowed states to ban abortion at any point in pregnancy.
- That could happen as early as Friday. The general counsel's office was not available to confirm the time frame for certification.
Details: The trigger law makes it a second-degree felony to perform an abortion in nearly every case, at any stage in pregnancy.
- Exceptions for birth defects and health threats to the mother are so narrowly written that they will not actually protect patients in most medical complications, doctors and legal experts told Axios.
- A sex assault victim may obtain abortions only if they have made a police report — which eliminates the vast majority of victims.
- That means the nearest abortion clinics to Salt Lake City will be in Glenwood Springs, Colo. (5.5 hours drive) and Las Vegas (more than 6 hours drive), according to the National Abortion Federation.
By the numbers: There were 2,776 abortions performed on Utah patients in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available.
What they're saying: "This is infuriating, devastating news," Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted.
- "I'm angry that the Court has overturned this precedent that has saved lives and protected individual freedom. My heart is with every woman in Salt Lake City today. This is a giant step backwards for Americans."
The other side: "I am proud to witness today's Supreme Court ruling in favor of human life," Rep. John Curtis said in a statement. "Personally, I believe these laws should include the preservation of life, but I also appreciate that this ruling allows elected officials, closer to the people, to draft laws that align with their state's moral views."
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