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Utah's governor signs ban on elective abortion that only goes into effect if Roe v. Wade overturned

Fetal remains bill also signed into law
Utah State Capitol
Posted at 8:05 AM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 12:29:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert signed a sweeping abortion ban into law late Saturday.

It would prohibit most elective abortions in Utah, but would only go into effect if Roe v. Wade, the landmark law that legalized abortion in America, is overturned.

Senate Bill 174, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, carves out exemptions for cases like rape, incest or health of the mother. The controversial bill would not likely face a legal challenge immediately, as it has a "trigger point" with a national decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I’m grateful to live in a pro-life state where we seek to protect the unborn," Sen. McCay said. "I’m hopeful that the US Supreme Court will take the opportunity to overturn the barbaric practice of abortion.”

But another bill the governor signed into law on Saturday may face one. Senate Bill 67, sponsored by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, requires that remains of a fetus that is aborted or miscarried be buried or cremated. It would have a woman choose what to do with those remains.

The governor's office did not immediately comment on the bills being signed into law. They were among 151 he signed on Saturday from the 2020 legislative session.