Tue March 12, 2013
Abortion Statistics Bill Passes State Legislature
The Utah Legislature gave final approval to a bill that would collect personal information from women seeking abortions and make it available to state agencies.
The information obtained would include the woman’s age, ethnicity and why she’s decided to get an abortion. Federal law already requires the collection of such data for use by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Senate Bill 60, sponsored by GOP Senator Margaret Dayton ensures such information would be on record in the state as well. Supporters say the data will be used to help inform decisions the state makes regarding abortions in the future. Republican Representative Lavarr Christensen urged House Lawmakers to ask themselves, “Do you want more abortions or less abortions?”
“Do you just put your head in the sand and just let it happen year in and year out?" Christensen said. "Look at all the areas where we try to be proactive. We’ve had waiting periods. We’ve passed legislation to try to make sure there is more information for people.”
But Democratic Representative Larry Wiley questioned the motives behind the bill, saying it’s unclear how the data will be used.
“I just don’t feel comfortable giving out that kind of information," Wiley said. "I just for some gut reason here feel like this is the first step in loading the gun to come back and blast everybody with future legislation dealing with abortion.”
Having been approved by both the House and Senate, SB 60 now only requires Governor Herbert’s signature to become law.