New abortion restriction in Utah


Gary Herbert (R) signed into law this past Monday a bill that will require doctors providing an abortion at least 20 weeks into a pregnancy to “administer an anesthetic or analgesic to eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child”, except in cases where the mother’s health would be placed at serious risk or the fetus suffers from a fatal congenital defect.The goal is to protect unborn babies from feeling pain because supporters say evidence shows babies in the womb suffer pain just like the rest of us. Instead of defunding Planned Parenthood or placing burdensome regulations on abortion providers, the Beehive State has chosen to require that women receiving an elective abortion at 20 weeks or later get anesthesia for the procedure. The Mormon couple chose to abort the pregnancy at 20 weeks. The bill, you will be non-surprised to learn, isn’t about concern for a pregnant person’s health, but is based on the bogus notion that 20-week fetuses can feel pain.In Utah, a woman has the permission to undergo an abortion at 20 weeks.Dr. Sean Esplin, a Utah-based physician, told the Associated Press that in order to comply with the law, the anesthesia will have to go through the woman to reach the fetus. Bramble himself admitted that he didn’t know whether his bill would require an anesthesiologist or whether special drugs or medical equipment were needed to comply with the new law. Abortions are prohibited in Utah after the point when the fetus is viable, which is generally understood to be between 22 and 24 weeks.Because the new Utah bill puts doctors in the unfair position of having to make sense of a requirement not backed by scientific evidence, not to mention one that carries potentially heavy added costs, experts believe it’s effectively a new way to try and ban 20-week abortions – one other states might try and copy. She asks, “Why?” And I say, “There’s no benefit to you, but there will be additional risk”.Sen. Curt Bramble, who sponsored the bill, said the measure is all about protecting the “sanctity of life” and those who have no voice.Utah law defines abortions in part as “the intentional termination or attempted termination of human pregnancy after implantation of a fertilized ovum through a medical procedure carried out by a physician or through a substance used under the direction of a physician”. However, some observers believe that the fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, which is why Herbert signed the bill requiring anesthesia.Can a fetus feel pain after 20 weeks? Warned Dr. Turok, “You never give those medicines if you don’t have to”.But Galloway said the idea that lawmakers with no medical knowledge are dictating what women and their doctors can do “is what’s infuriating”.In Utah, a woman must receive in-person counseling and wait 72 hours before an abortion can be performed. “I mean, we have fetal medical specialists speaking, and they were discounted by a citizen who said, ‘I read it on the Internet and therefore it must be true.’ That’s how we do policy here in Utah”.