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A ban on elective abortions has been introduced in the Utah State Legislature

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 19:53:13-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would ban abortions except in rare circumstances has been introduced in the Utah State Legislature.

Senate Bill 174, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, prohibits abortions in Utah except in circumstances involving a possible death of the woman, rape, incest, or a defect that is lethal (as diagnosed by two physicians). The bill was made public in the Utah State Legislature on Friday.

Sen. McCay has made no secret of his desire to see such a bill pass. During an anti-abortion rally last year, he announced he would seek legislation to ban elective abortions in Utah.

"The idea that we are still involved in this barbaric practice to me is shocking," he said at the time.

Sen. McCay's bill is sure to face a legal challenge, if it passes and is signed into law by the governor. Utah is currently being sued over a bill that passed last year banning abortions after 18-weeks. Planned Parenthood, the ACLU of Utah and Alliance for a Better Utah were planning a news conference Monday to speak about legislation targeting women's reproductive rights.

"We are tired of politicians who think they know best trying to force their extreme political ideology onto a deeply personal and sensitive issue. Life is complicated. Reproduction is complicated. Abortion is complicated," said Lauren Simpson of the Alliance for a Better Utah in a statement. "And politicians who try and make any of these things black-and-white are showing they either don’t understand or don’t care about the complex, nuanced experiences of people’s lives. With this bill, Senator McCay would take away people’s agency to make these important decisions for themselves."