SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4) — The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Wednesday evening, on HB 467. The bill would get rid of abortion clinics, requiring abortions to be performed in a hospital with limited exceptions.
Many of the providers who spoke at the meeting said having these procedures done at a hospital will cost significantly more. Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Misha Pangasa said patients are given out-of-pocket estimates as high as $20,000.
“Removing that option for patients who can’t afford to have care in a hospital and who quite frankly, don’t need the level of care required in hospitals,” Dr. Pangasa said. “Is really creating additional barriers to patients as they seek the health care that’s important for them.”
Assuming Utah’s trigger law moves forward, abortion would only be legal in instances where the mother’s life is in danger, the fetus is not viable, and for victims of sexual assault.
This bill goes a step further, limiting the exception for victims to 18 weeks after conception. It also specifies what type of abortion should be performed, if it is unlikely the fetus would survive.
“The abortion would be done through induction of labor, so the baby would be born rather than have the baby cut apart in utero in a surgical abortion procedure,” bill sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee said. “Because we feel that we want to protect that, that life and not and not put it through the pain that that would cause”
Instead, Lisonbee said the baby would die naturally outside the womb. When asked what happens if the baby survives, Lisonbee responded the baby would be given care.
The bill also prevents out-of-state doctors from prescribing abortion drugs. It also redefines what constitutes a medical emergency for the mother.