UTAH ENACTS LAW TO FUNCTIONALLY ELIMINATE ABORTION ACCESS IN THE STATE STARTING MAY 3
For Immediate Release: March 16, 2023
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Yesterday, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed HB467 into law, legislation that will functionally eliminate access to abortion in the state on May 3, even though abortion is currently legal in Utah up until 18 weeks. The law aims to bypass the court ruling currently blocking the state’s total abortion ban by, among other things, amending the existing ban to make hospitals the only place to receive abortion care. HB 467 has led to confusion among clinics, hospitals, and patients alike as lawmakers place new restrictions on access to essential health care.
Abortion is a critical component of reproductive health care and a safe procedure with a very low risk of complications in non-hospital settings, where it is usually provided. Today, most Utah patients receive abortion care in a clinic and most hospitals in Utah do not currently provide abortion except in rare circumstances. In fact, Utah law allows hospitals – and individual clinicians – to refuse care to patients seeking abortion. And, HB 467 includes language that would further discourage hospital providers from offering care in their facilities, leaving Utahns with effectively no options for accessing abortion in the state.
“Instead of working to make health care more accessible, reliable, and affordable, Utah politicians have enacted a law that only creates more uncertainty, chaos, and confusion for patients — all to circumvent the judicial process in the name of their anti-abortion crusade,” said Karrie Galloway, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU). “Make no mistake, this dangerous law will have a devastating impact on our communities and harm those who already have the most difficulty accessing basic health care. Planned Parenthood Association of Utah is exploring all options to preserve access to abortion in Utah ahead of HB 467’s effective date on May 3. Despite these roadblocks, we will never stop fighting for everyone’s right to control their own lives and medical decisions.”
“HB 467 is a result of maneuvering and manipulation from anti-abortion politicians intended to get around a valid court decision and block Utahns from accessing care,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Let it be known: anti-abortion politicians in Utah and across the country do not care about the health and safety of their constituents. They are pushing their unpopular, political agenda by any means necessary until abortion is inaccessible or banned in every state – no matter the cost. And Planned Parenthood will fight back.”
Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that Utahns and all people can get abortion when they need it, and we will continue to do all we can to protect and maintain access to that care. PPAU is considering all options in response to ongoing extremist efforts to end abortion in the state, and PPAU health center doors remain open. PPAU will continue to provide essential sexual and reproductive health services including STI and pregnancy testing, cancer screenings and more.
# # #