2023 Utah Legislative Session Week 2
By Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah | Jan. 27, 2023, 7:45 p.m.
Category: Attacks on Planned Parenthood
The second week of the Utah Legislative Session is finished. And let's be honest: there are people in your community, in your family, and in your workplace who are hurting today.
The attacks on Utah's transgender community peaked on Friday with the passage of SB 16, with the latest version undoing prior compromises to ban gender-affirming treatments for minors indefinitely.
At Planned Parenthood, we believe transgender youth should be able to enjoy all that our state has to offer without losing the rights they deserve. The legislature has chosen to override the freedom of youth, parents, and doctors who wish to pursue gender affirming healthcare.
To all LGBTQ+ people who may be struggling, know that you belong in our state. Planned Parenthood and our community partners will never stop advocating for you.
Here are some of the bills our team has been focused on this week.
HJR 2 - Joint Resolution Amending Rules of Civil Procedure on Injunctions
Sponsor: Rep. Brady Brammer
This resolution directly targets the injunction blocking Utah's total abortion ban, but also causes havoc with Utah's legal system. On Friday afternoon the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-1 to advance HJR 2 to the full Senate for consideration despite compelling testimony opposing it from the Utah Bar, the Utah Courts, and legal experts. We expect the Senate to vote on HJR2 by the middle of next week.
CALL TO ACTION: Text, email, and contact your Senator to tell them to vote NO on HJR2 because they shouldn't ignore the warnings from Utah's legal community that the retroactive aspects of this resolution will block access to justice by clogging the courts with re-litigation of settled matters.
SB 16 - Transgender Medical Treatments and Procedures Amendments.
Sponsor: Sen. Michael Kennedy
As we mentioned above, the Utah House re-wrote this bill to eliminate changes designed to soften the terrible impact of banning gender-affirming care. This means the final version passed on Friday is a full ban on transgender medical care that will take effect as soon as Gov. Cox signs it—which he has previously pledged to do. Given the multiple unconstitutional aspects of this bill, we expect future litigation seeking to block it from taking effect, as occurred in Alabama and Arkansas—two other states with similar bans.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact Gov. Spencer Cox and urge him to veto SB 16 because denying life-saving medical treatments to transgender youth will harm and marginalize our neighbors who need more help, not more bans.
HB 297 - Victim Services Amendments
Sponsor: Sen. Kera Birkeland
On Thursday night, Rep. Kera Birkeland, the sponsor of last year's ban on transgender youth athletes, followed through on her promise to introduce legislation to require rape victims to file an active police report to secure an abortion. But HB 297 goes further to deny abortions for rape victims beyond 18 weeks' gestation. This bill was just introduced and has not been assigned to a committee hearing.
We oppose HB 297 because it deepens and extends the traumatic experience of sexual assault by restricting the victim's personal liberty and privacy. Forcing a person to file a police report in order to receive essential heath care violates widely accepted standards of medical care and treatment after traumatic events.
CALL TO ACTION: Follow Planned Parenthood’s Public Bill Tracker as we follow this bill during the session. You can check out our Public Bill Tracker here. Or sign up to follow our Fast Democracy Bill Tracker here.
Here are some ways to stay active and help throughout the session:
- Sign up for Digital Advocacy Nights happening every Wednesday at 7pm.
- Find your Utah legislators here.
- Bookmark our Public Bill Tracker here.
- Sign up to follow our Fast Democracy Bill Tracker here.
Thank you for joining us in advocating in the legislative process each week. We realize these rulings have a very real impact on Utahn’s lives and we are honored to advocate alongside you.
In this together,
PPAC Public Affairs Team