March 25, 2009
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (R) signed three pro-life bills into law on Friday, March 20, 2009. The three bills all take important measures to reduce and limit abortions.
The first bill, HB 90, makes second-trimester abortions illegal and increases the penalty for doing an illegal late-term abortion to a second degree felony.
The second bill, HB 222, is a version of the fetal pain awareness measures that many states are now requiring as part of informed consent legislation. Fetal pain measures require abortion providers to tell women considering an abortion that their unborn child will experience pain during the abortion. Bills like this one are important because they allow women to make an informed decision about the negative consequences of abortion.
The third bill, HB 114, creates a legal defense fund that private citizens could donate to in order to defend an abortion ban the state of Utah expects to approve by 2014.The fund will raise money to retain attorneys to defend the ban in court after it is approved. The fund will be open for five years. If there are insufficient funds to defend the abortion ban, the money will be used to support abortion alternatives.