Utah

Hostile

Summary

If Roe is weakened or overturned:

Utah will likely try to prohibit abortion. In 2020Utah enacted a trigger ban, intended to prohibit abortion in almost all situations if ever legally permissible. Utah has numerous unnecessary abortion restrictions

Primary Content

Restrictions

Utah law generally prohibits abortion at eighteen weeks LMP and after viability,1 although the eighteen-week ban is preliminarily enjoined.2 It also prohibits D&X and saline procedures,3 and abortions sought solely because of Down syndrome.4 Pregnant people who seek abortion care must undergo a mandatory seventy-two-hour waiting period and biased counseling.5 Utah also limits public funding for,6 and private insurance coverage of, abortion.7 Utah law generally requires that a parent or legal guardian be notified prior to a minor’s abortion8 and consent to it.9 Alternatively, a judge can approve a minor’s petition.10

Utah’s targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws include requirements related to facilities11 and reporting.12 Utah law restricts the provision of abortion care to licensed physicians and explicitly prohibits certified nurse midwives from providing abortion care.13 Providers who violate Utah’s abortion restrictions may face civil and criminal penalties.14

Protections

Utah law does not include express constitutional or statutory protections for abortion. To the contrary, Utah’s policy preference to ban abortion to the fullest extent of the law: “It is the intent of the Legislature to protect and guarantee to unborn children their inherent and inalienable right to life…”15 During counseling, a patient must be told that the state’s preference is for childbirth over abortion.”16

Laws that could be enforced if Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned

In 2020, Utah enacted a trigger ban.17 Utah repealed its pre-Roe ban in 1973.18

Conclusion

If Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned, the state is likely to move to enforce its newly enacted trigger ban to prohibit abortion entirely.

  • 1. UTAH CODE ANN. § 76-7-302.5; id. § 76-7-302.
  • 2. Planned Parenthood Ass’n of Utah v. Miner, No. 2:19-cv-00238-EJF (C.D. Utah 2019).
  • 3. UTAH CODE ANN. §§ 76-7-326, 76-7-310.5.
  • 4. Id. § 76-7-302.4.
  • 5. Id. § 76-7-305; id. § 76-7-305.5.
  • 6. Id. § 76-7-331.
  • 7. UTAH CODE ANN. § 31A-22-726.
  • 8. Id. § 76-7-304 (2).
  • 9. Id. § 76-7-304.5 (1)(a).
  • 10. Id. § 76-7-304.5(3).
  • 11. Id. § 26-21-2 (1), id. § 26-21-2(23)-(24); UTAH ADMIN. CODE r. R432-600-5.
  • 12. UTAH CODE ANN. § 76-7-313.
  • 13. Id. §§ 76-7-302 (2), 58-77-603.
  • 14. See, e.g., id. §§ 76-7-327, 76-7-326.
  • 15. Id. § 76-7-301.1.
  • 16. Id. § 76-7-305.5(2)(d).
  • 17. Id. § 76-7a-201.
  • 18. UTAH CODE ANN. §§ 76-2-1, 76-2-2 (1953), repealed by 1973 Utah Laws 584, 684, ch. 196 (sub.) ch. 10, pt. 14.