Utah governor mandates 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions
Governor Gary Herbert called 'an adamant supporter of rights for the unborn'
Utah Republican Governor Gary Herbert has signed into law a required
waiting period for women seeking an abortion to 72 hours. Utah already
had a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period fro women seeking
abortions. A similar requirement in South Dakota has reportedly been
blocked in court.
'Governor Herbert is an adamant supporter of rights for the unborn,' Ally Isom, a spokeswoman for the governor says. 'He felt the bill appropriately allows a woman who's facing that decision to fully weigh her options and the implications of that decision.'
"Governor Herbert is an adamant supporter of rights for the unborn," Ally Isom, a spokeswoman for the governor says. "He felt the bill appropriately allows a woman who's facing that decision to fully weigh her options and the implications of that decision."
The Utah decision is just the latest in the long-running national battle over abortion. Several states have passed laws imposing requirements on women before they can undergo the procedure.
In neighboring Idaho, lawmakers are now considering requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy.
A South Dakota law passed last year also required women seeking an abortion to wait three days before having the procedure. That state's Planned Parenthood group sued in federal court saying the law violated the equal protection and due process rights of women.
Chief Judge Karen Schreier of the U.S. District Court for South Dakota preliminarily blocked the requirement in June when she found it imposed an undue burden on women, saying that women from low-income backgrounds would need to travel long distances and couldn't afford to go home and then return.
"We believe that a court will find the 72-hour waiting period (in Utah) is not an undue burden," Isom said.
One difference between the two state laws is that, unlike in South Dakota where lawmakers sought to require that women wait 72 hours after first meeting with the abortion provider, Utah would allow the waiting period to begin after an initial consultation with a health professional - and the consultation doesn't have to be with an abortion provider.
The Utah law is due to take effect on May 7. Utah is one of the most conservative in the nation and has not had a Democratic governor since 1985.
While South Dakota was the first state to pass legislation for a three-day wait in 2011, 26 states require women to wait before receiving an abortion, usually a 24-hour period.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Keywords: Gary Herbert, Utah, abortion waiting period, South Dakota
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