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Elective abortion now illegal in Utah

Posted at 10:09 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 21:16:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, Utah's "trigger law" went into effect and made elective abortions illegal in the state.

READ: Utah leaders react to Roe v. Wade decision

Utah is one of several states that have these laws, which could ban abortions within hours of the court's decision.

State Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, who co-sponsored Utah's "trigger law" during the 2020 legislative session, said the ban would become effective once state legislative attorneys certify the Supreme Court decision — which ended up happening Friday evening.

Friday morning, Lisonbee said she could not have imagined that the overturning of Roe v. Wade would have come so soon after the law she helped author was written.

"It is wonderful news, and we are so grateful the Supreme Court has taken up the Dobbs case and decided in the way they have," Lisonbee said.

Utah's law makes abortions illegal except in cases where pregnancy occurred from rape or incest, and also make exceptions for women whose health would be compromised.

READ: Even after Utah's trigger law is in effect, state lawmakers plan more abortion bills

Lisonbee said contraception such as the so-called "day after pill" would still be legal even under Utah's new abortion law due to it being used before "implantation." The state will also stop short of prohibiting women from traveling to another state for an abortion.

"Certainly a woman is free to travel from state to state," said Lisonbee. "I don't know of any Utah law in the past that has sought to punish a woman who has sought an abortion. We have always focused our laws on punishing those who perform the abortions."

Lisonbee added that with abortions being illegal in Utah, there are community organizations to help pregnant women and encouraged people to donate to them. She added that the state legislature is also looking at the cost of the adoptions.

"There are many, many parents, more parents waiting to adopt than babies available to adopt. So for women who, maybe aren't ready to raise a child but want to give that child life, there are opportunities for adoption and we want to make that easier in Utah."

The full version of the court's opinion can be read here.

Video below: State Rep. Karianne Lisonbee joined FOX 13 News to discuss Utah's trigger law

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee details how Utah will move forward following Roe v. Wade decision