Happy International Women’s Day! Today we celebrate all women — cisgender women, transgender women, femmes — and their incredible achievements. Across all areas of our lives — political, economic, social, academic, cultural, and more — women keep our community strong and moving forward.
As of midnight on Friday, the 2022 Utah Legislative General Session is officially over! We want to express our deep gratitude for everyone who paid attention, took action, contacted legislators, helped educate family and friends on the issues at stake, testified at hearings, shared social media posts, or attended a digital advocacy night. Thank you for engaging in the legislative process, even when it’s hard!
Be sure to check out our bill tracker to see the outcomes of all our tracked bills.
We are thrilled to say that for the second year in a row – no new abortion restrictions passed the Legislature! HB 382 – Abortion Modifications (Sponsor: Rep. Kera Birkeland) never made it out of the House Rules Committee, and we were fortunately spared from having to publicly debate this horrible bill.
Reproductive health care saw another win with the passage of HB 77 – Medication for Inmates (Chief Sponsor: Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost; Senate Sponsor: Sen. Luz Escamilla) that will ensure inmates in Utah jails can still access contraceptive medications while incarcerated. Please thank Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost and Senator Luz Escamilla for their work to pass this bill!
Sadly, Senator Kitchen’s bill, SB 105 – Family Planning Services Amendments, that would expand contraception access through Medicaid, failed to pass the Senate committee. And Representative Rosemary Lesser’s bill HB 220 – Pregnancy and Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Amendments also never made it to a committee hearing. We know advocates and legislators will continue to work on these issues, and we expect to see these bills back again next year.
We are also relieved to say that no anti-trans bills will go into effect in Utah!
Friday night took a dramatic turn when, with just 2.5 hours left in the session, Senator Dan McCay blindsided nearly everyone and proposed an amended version of HB 11 – Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Activities (Chief Sponsor: Rep. Kera Birkeland; Senate Sponsor: Sen. Curtis Bramble) that bans all transgender girls from playing middle and high school sports. Despite opposition to the amendment from both sides of the aisle, the bill narrowly passed in a 16-13 vote. It then went back to the House, where it passed 46-29. Thankfully, Governor Cox immediately stated he would veto the bill as soon as it hits his desk.
In other good news, the anti-trans bill, HB 127 – Medical Practice Amendments (Sponsor: Rep. Rex Shipp), never even had a public hearing and thankfully died.
With anti-trans legislation sweeping many states, most notably Texas, we are incredibly thankful these bills failed here. Thank you to the advocates, parents, and organizations like Equality Utah and the ACLU of Utah who spent countless hours working to stop this legislation.
Last, but not least, if you are looking for ways to celebrate International Women’s Day – here are two great art exhibitions to check out:
Sister: An International Women’s Day Gallery Exhibition at Medium Studio, opening reception is TONIGHT from 6 – 10 pm.
Our Wake Up Call for Freedoms at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
Thank you again for standing for reproductive freedom! We couldn’t do this work without you.