Poll suggests most Utahns oppose additional abortion restrictions

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A newly released poll suggests most Utahns are against tightening restrictions on abortions.

The survey was commissioned by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, Alliance for a Better Utah, and the ACLU of Utah.

  • Without being informed about Utah’s current restrictions on abortion, 30% of Utahns indicate they want Utah’s laws around abortion to be stricter, while 35% said they want the laws to be less strict. The remaining 35% would prefer the laws remain the same.
  • After being informed about Utah’s current restrictions on abortion (i.e. state-directed counseling, 72-hour waiting period, private and public insurance limitations), 80% of Utahns said the state does not need additional restrictions on abortion.
    • Of the 30% of Utahns who initially indicated they want stricter laws, about half (47%) changed their mind and said they do not wish for additional restrictions after hearing the list of current restrictions in place.
    • Among respondents who described themselves as “conservative” and “somewhat conservative,” 44% and 49%, respectively, changed their minds and declined to support additional restrictions after learning about the current abortion restrictions in place in Utah.

“This belief that there should be fewer or no more restrictions on abortion aligns with the views of every professional medical association, including the nation’s largest providers of women’s health care, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” Dr. Jessica Sanders, a health and policy researcher, explained on Utah’s Capitol Hill during a press conference on Monday.

The results come during the 2020 Legislative Session when lawmakers are considering three bills regarding abortions.

Senate Bill 174, sponsored by Senator Dan McCay (R- Riverton), would prohibit a pregnant woman from receiving an abortion, with limited exceptions. Senate Bill 67, sponsored by Senator Curt Bramble, (R-Provo), would require fetal remains from an abortion or miscarriage to be buried or cremated. And House Bill 364, sponsored by Representative Steve Christiansen, (R-West Jordan), would require women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion.

“Politicians like Senator McCay, Senator Bramble, and Representative Christiansen, are not representative of the people. They are listening to a small minority and are rushing bills through this legislature on matters they know little about and that will demonstrably harm their constituents,” said Karrie Galloway, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Utah.

ABC4 News reached out to each of the bill sponsors for a comment.

“Protecting the most vulnerable amongst us ought to be our highest priority. I believe unborn children are worthy of protection, and everyone has a right to life. My bill, S.B. 67, does not put any burden on women. It merely gives them a choice, if they desire, to bury or cremate the miscarried or aborted baby and put assurances in place that hospitals/clinics treat the remains of a baby in a dignified manner.” – Sen. Curt Bramble.

“My door is open to everyone, including Planned Parenthood. It just so happens that their pro-abortion arguments aren’t as good as the pro-life arguments, which the majority of my constituents strongly support.” – Sen. Dan McCay.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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