It’s the end of week 5 of the 2022 Utah Legislative Session, and that means there’s only 2 weeks left! The end of these 45-day sessions is always a wild ride, so we expect lots of action in the coming two weeks. Keep an eye on our bill tracker for day-by-day updates.
This week, we have some big news:
HB 382 Abortion Modifications
Chief Sponsor: Rep. Kera Birkeland
We knew this bill was coming, and it was finally released late last Friday. Rep. Kera Birkeland's HB 382 is nearly identical to a 2021 bill proposed by Rep. Christiansen (who resigned a few months ago and became infamous after he tried to pass the invasive “ultrasound bill” of 2020). His 2021 bill was so unpopular, it never made it out of the Rules Committee. Rep. Birkeland’s HB 382 is just as extreme and would only add more layers of needless restrictions that make abortion more difficult to navigate for patients and health care providers.
HB 382 would make unnecessary and stigmatizing changes to the already lengthy and involved “informed consent” process Utah patients must undergo before scheduling an abortion, including requiring all patients to make two trips to a health center at least 72 hours apart. It would also require reporting abortion procedure complications by type, clinic location, and whether the complication occurred at the clinic or in another location and would impose a $50,000 fine for any physician who violates this statute.
Let’s be clear: this bill would do nothing to help or better inform patients seeking abortion and is a waste of the Legislature’s time and taxpayer money. It seeks to shame and stigmatize Utahns by trying to force abortion patients to change their minds. The requirements of this bill have nothing to do with good medical practice or ensuring safe access to health care. They are solely aimed at creating barriers to abortion care.
We know that passing more abortion restrictions is deeply unpopular – a whopping 80% of Utahns agree that we do not need more abortion restrictions in our state, according to 2020 polling. Our legislators should spend their precious remaining days of the session working on policy to ensure that all Utahns have their basic needs met, like access to health care, housing security, and a living wage.
TAKE ACTION: HB 382 has not yet been assigned a committee, so please reach out to YOUR representative and respectfully let them know Utah does NOT need more abortion restrictions.
At Planned Parenthood, the health and safety of patients, staff, and community is our top priority. Unlike some politicians at the State Capitol, we’re focused on protecting your rights and freedoms to access health care when and where you choose.
Planned Parenthood’s doors remain open and will continue to do everything it can to ensure patients can continue to access abortion, no matter what.
In this together,
PPAC Public Affairs Team