Utah’s governor signs bill banning abortions after 18 weeks

Posted at 7:10 PM, Mar 25, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill banning abortion after 18 weeks.

House Bill 136, sponsored by Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, bans elective abortions after 18 weeks. It has an exception for cases of rape, incest or the health and safety of the mother.

The bill has already drawn threats of lawsuits from the ACLU of Utah and Planned Parenthood.

“This ban adds to the long list of restrictive abortion policies that legislators have already enacted in this state. For example, Utah already forces people seeking abortion to complete a state-mandated online education module and a face-to-face informed consent session designed to discourage people from seeking abortion services, and then wait 72 hours before receiving abortion care. These medically unnecessary restrictions can cause delays that force abortion later into pregnancy and disproportionately impact women who live in rural areas of our state and families who are economically disadvantaged,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

The ACLU tweeted “see you in court, Utah.”

The governor’s office defended his decision to sign it into law.

“Governor Herbert is unapologetically pro-life and believes state lawmakers have chosen an appropriate threshold for protecting the unborn while respecting a woman’s right to choose,” his spokesman, Paul Edwards, said in a statement to FOX 13.

It was included in a list of 119 bills he had signed into law. One bill vetoed, Senate Bill 123, would allow political parties to submit a list of names to replace a congressional vacancy.

In a letter to House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President Stuart Adams, Gov. Herbert said he believed SB123 “significantly limits participation and choice in elections.”

The governor also signed House Bill 114, the controversial “stand your ground” law that says people do not have a duty to retreat in the face of an aggressor. The bill has faced criticism that it targets minorities.

On the same day the Utah Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to the legislature replacing Proposition 2 (the medical cannabis ballot initiative), the governor signed a series of bills that change how ballot initiatives get before voters.

House Bill 133 changes the effective date that successful initiatives become law, giving the legislature time to review it. House Bill 145 creates a system to see almost real-time who signs a citizen referendum petition (and allows for signature removal at the same time), and House Bill 195 changes the signature threshold. Critics have accused the legislature of overstepping their power over initiatives.

The governor also signed a bill raising the legal smoking age to 21.

To date, Gov. Herbert has signed 306 bills into law from the 2019 legislative session.

Here’s the full list of bills the governor signed on Monday:

Victim Rights Amendments, Eliason, S.

Pretrial Release Amendments, Romero, A.

Gambling Machines Amendments, McKell, M.

Public Education Definitions Amendments, Peterson, V.

Special Education Recodification, Peterson, V.

Custody and Parent-Time Revisions, Snow, V.

Amendments to Criminal Provisions, Ray, P.

Support Animals Amendments, Dunnigan, J.

School Trust Fund Modifications, Moss, J.

Remote Notarization Standards, Hall, C.

Insurance Amendments, Dunnigan, J.

Employers’ Reinsurance Fund Amendments, Dunnigan, J.

Division of Facilities Construction and Management Property Amendments, Brooks, W.

Health Education Amendments, Ward, R.

Interlocal Provision of Law Enforcement Service, Winder, M.

Occupational Licensing Modifications, Hutchings, E.

Bad Check Fee Amendments, Ivory, K.

Human Trafficking Revisions, Romero, A.

Self-Defense Amendments, Maloy, A.

Incentives for Statewide Assessment Performance, Winder, M.

Initiatives, Referenda, and Other Political Activities, Daw, B.

Campaign Amendments, Hall, C.

Public Education Exit Survey, Moss, C.

Initiative Amendments, Daw, B.

Area Assessment Charges, Ferry, J.

Abortion Amendments, Acton, C.

Special Designation of Highway 6, Watkins, C.

Citizen Political Process Amendments, Thurston, N.

Vehicle Idling Revisions, Arent, P.

Offenses Against the Administration of Government Amendments, Hall, C.

Temporary Replacements for County Offices, Potter, V.

Transportation of Veterans to Memorials Support Special Group License Plate, Albrecht, C.

Fund of Funds Amendments, Waldrip, S.

Professional Licensing Amendments, Schultz, M.

Statute of Limitations Amendments, Arent, P.

Initiative and Referendum Amendments, Handy, S.

Appointment of Constables Amendments, Wilde, L.

Safe Routes to School Program, Harrison, S.

Promotion of Student Loan Forgiveness, Duckworth, S.

Department of Heritage and Arts Amendments, Winder, M.

Misdemeanor Sentencing Timeline Clarifications, Hutchings, E.

School Fee Revisions, Lisonbee, K.

Apprenticeship Opportunity Awareness, Winder, M.

Prosecution Review Amendments, Lisonbee, K.

Financial and Economic Literacy Education Amendments, Moss, J.

Critical Infrastructure Materials, Wilde, L.

Utility Online Usage Data Amendments, Hutchings, E.

Governmental Immunity Revisions, McKell, M.

Public Improvements to Provide Sewer Services, Wilde, L.

Title Insurance Amendments, McKell, M.

Tobacco Age Amendments, Eliason, S.

Nurse Practice Act Amendments, Dunnigan, J.

Homeless Provider Oversight Amendments, King, B.

Development Advertising Amendments, Daw, B.

Student Asthma Relief Amendments, Wheatley, M.

Tourism Marketing Performance Account Amendments, Gibson, F.

Right of Way Equity Amendments, Gibson, F.

Horse Racing Amendments, McKell, M.

World War II Memorial Commission, Dailey-Provost, J.

Pharmacy Benefit Manager Amendments, Ray, P.

Consent to Services for Homeless Youth, Weight, E.

Regulatory Sandbox, Roberts, M.

Amusement Ride Safety, Potter, V.

Resort Communities Tax Amendments, Strong, M.

Boards and Commissions Amendments, Knotwell, J.

Incentive Program Amendments, Christofferson, K.

Modifications to Governmental Immunity Provisions, Ivory, K.

Telemedicine Reimbursement Amendments, Ivory, K.

State Construction Registry Amendments, Roberts, M.

Agricultural Vehicle Amendments, Perry, L.

Restitution Reporting, Pitcher, S.

Medicaid Eligibility Amendments, Moss, C.

Concurrent Resolution Designating May 5 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and LGBT+ Awareness Day, Romero, A.

Concurrent Resolution Recognizing the Work of the Stop the Bleed Initiative and Campaign, Spendlove, R.

Concurrent Resolution Designating Utah Women’s Voter Registration Day, Ballard, M.

Concurrent Resolution Regarding the Statue of Philo T. Farnsworth, Stenquist, J.

Records Committees, Harper, W.

Political Procedures Amendments, Harper, W.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment for Mental Illness, Fillmore, L.

Child Welfare Sunset Provisions, Christensen, A.

Local Government Office Amendments, Vickers, E.

Child Abuse Amendments, Weiler, T.

Food Truck Amendments, Henderson, D.

Amendments to Martha Hughes Cannon Oversight Committee, Henderson, D.

Air Ambulance Revisions, Harper, W.

Domestic Violence Amendments, Christensen, A.

Intestate Succession Amendments, Hinkins, D.

Secure Transport Designation Amendments, Vickers, E.

Conflict Disclosure Amendments, Iwamoto, J.

Acceptance of Competency-based Education, Millner, A.

Hunting Amendments, Hinkins, D.

Office of State Debt Collection Revisions, Hillyard, L.

Vehicle Registration Records Amendments, Weiler, T.

Ignition Interlock Amendments, Harper, W.

Oppressive Conduct in a Closely Held Corporation, Cullimore, K.

Scholarships for Career and Technical Education, Grover, K.

Legal Notice Revisions, McCay, D.

Initiative Procedure Amendments, Henderson, D.

Occupational and Professional Licensure, Harper, W.

Candidate Filing Disclosure Amendments, Anderegg, J.

Code Enforcement Amendments, Thatcher, D.

Declaration of Candidacy Amendments, Vickers, E.

Law Enforcement Agency Amendments, Bramble, C.

Vulnerable Adult Amendments, Weiler, T.

Underground Conversion of Utilities Amendments, Buxton, D.

National Certification Teacher Incentive Amendments, Mayne, K.

Political Committee Amendments, Thatcher, D.

Office of Recovery Services Fee, Hillyard, L.

Medicaid Inspector General Amendments, Anderegg, J.

Medical Billing Transparency Amendments, Weiler, T.

White Collar Crime Registry, Bramble, C.

Caregiver Compensation Amendments, Harper, W.

Outdoor Recreation Grant Amendments, Okerlund, R.

Fines and Fees Amendments, McCay, D.

Vandalism of Public Lands, Cullimore, K.

Concurrent Resolution on the Payment for Treatments in an Institution for Mental Illness, Fillmore, L.

Concurrent Resolution Recognizing Navajo Code Talkers, Iwamoto, J.

Concurrent Resolution Regarding the Public Employees’ Health Plans, Hemmert, D.