Utah’s 72 Hour Abortion Waiting Period Passes Committee

When South Dakota passed the nation’s longest waiting period for obtaining an abortion, local courts injucted the bill until it could be argued in a court of law.  But that hasn’t stopped Utah from pursuing lengthening their own state’s waiting period, too.

Utah’s new 72 hour waiting period has made it out of committee, and will likely be voted on in the state legislature this week. Republicans are trying to frame it as a “consumer protection” initiative, while opponents call it an onerous roadblock for the rural poor.

“For those women who have the fewest financial resources, those who must travel long distances, and those who will have difficulty explaining their whereabouts to others, a 72-hour waiting period will be particularly burdensome,”ACLU attorney Marina Lowe told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Currently, Salt Lake City is the only place in the state where an abortion can be obtained.  And, surrounded by large, population sparse conservative states, even trying to go across the boarder to a neighboring clinic can often be unfeasible.  This leaves many women essentially with no choice, unless they are able to afford gas, child care, hotels and other expenses, adding to the procedure’s cost.

Bill supporters say they have never talked to a woman who “decided to carry her baby to term say she wished she had an abortion instead.”  The obvious inference?  If you take away a woman’s choice and force her to carry an unwanted child to term, eventually she’ll be happy that you did.

Meanwhile, a bill that will forbid Utah schools from teaching about contraception, and allow them to skip sex ed all together, is still working its way through the legislature.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

84 comments

Linda W.
Linda Walcroft4 years ago

The extra 72 hours may be just enough time for the embryo to develop the ability to feel pain, should it be around 6 weeks along. This makes this a really bad idea! Abortions done before 6 weeks are preferable, when the nervous system has not formed and the heart is not beating. (That's right folks, the bumper stickers are inaccurate. Abortion does NOT always stop a beating heart.)

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Mark S.
Mark S.4 years ago

How about a law that forces a man to wait 72 hours before he can masturbate? After-all, those precious sperm are potential babies!!!!

Marianne C.
Marianne C.4 years ago

Sandy E, what about victims of rape and incest? What about birth control failures? Gah, I am so sick of people who deliberately ignore the obvious to push archaic agendas down people's throats. And the word you tried and failed at is: responsibility. That's re-spon-si-bil-i-ty...Something the pro-lifers refuse to take for the unwanted and abandoned babies that are going be piling up faster than used soda cans if the backwards knuckle draggers from the GOP have their way.

Anne K.
Anne K.4 years ago

Is there a 72 hour wait before a Utah resident can eat meat? Make them watch a pig, cow, or chicken endure the process of becoming meat. Aborting a fetus seems like a humane alternative to bringing another living being into the world.

Cat B.
CB C.4 years ago

Chad A...it's refreshing to see someone cut thru the bull and say it like it is...Kudos!

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold4 years ago

The men's mental iq must be somewhere below 10.

Ellyn L.
Ellen L.4 years ago

SANDY E HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THE POSSIBLITYOF RAPE AND INCEST. Where was the woman's choice there?

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson4 years ago

Choice? Have smart,safe sex and be will to accept the respondsablity for a baby if it comes to that. Why abortion? How barbaric!