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Can you believe it’s already the end of week 2 of the 2021 Legislative session? It’s been a busy one! We may not be up at the Capitol in person this year due to COVID, but our team is working hard from home to advance equitable pro-family reproductive health legislation and combat the bad bills from anti-abortion legislators.  

First: be sure you are following all our priority bills on our 2021 bill tracker. We update this daily so you can stay informed during our fast-paced legislative session. 

Now here’s what you need to know this week: 

Let’s start with the good stuff! 

HB 102 – Contraception for Inmates
This bill, sponsored by Representative Jen Dailey-Provost, allows people who were already using a contraceptive method to continue their method while incarcerated. It passed out of committee this week and will likely go to the House Floor for a vote on Monday. 
TAKE ACTION: Contact your representative and ask them to VOTE YES on HB 102! If one of the following legislators represents you, please also thank them for voting yes on HB102 – Contraception for Inmates in the Health and Human Services Committee: Rep. Marsha JudkinsRep. Candice PierucciRep. Kelly MilesRep. Robert SpendloveRep. Ray WardRep. Cheryl ActonRep. Sandra HollinsRep. Rosemary Lesser 

Now for the bad stuff: 

HB253 - Abortion Amendments 

This bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Christiansen would: 

  • Require that informed consent for abortions happen in person, prohibiting telehealth as an option and requiring two in person visits. 

  • Require patients to sign a certificate under penalty of perjury in the presence of a witness from the health center that they viewed the entire online module. 

  • Make changes to the online module to include video images of fetal development, audio of fetal heartbeats, and photos and descriptions of abortion procedures.  

  • Require reporting of abortion procedure complications including by type, clinic location, and whether the complication occurred at the clinic or in another location. 

  • Fine physicians who violate this statute $50,000. 

Let’s be clear: this bill would do nothing to help or better inform patients seeking abortion care. It seeks to shame and stigmatize patients and would only make it harder for Utahns to get an abortion. Especially during a pandemic, people need more access to health care instead of having to navigate barriers that could increase exposure to COVID-19. 

TAKE ACTION: Contact members of the House Rules Committee and tell them elected officials should be focused on responding to the pandemic and finding ways to combat this public health crisis, not playing politics with people’s health care.  

HB 231 – Fetus Transport Restrictions 

This bill is sponsored by Rep. Cheryl Acton (yes, the same Rep. Acton who sponsored the 18 week abortion ban for which we are currently suing the State of Utah). This bill would prohibit transporting fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages across state lines for any purpose other than burial. This would prohibit Planned Parenthood Association of Utah from sending fetal tissue to an out-of-state pathology lab. 

This bill is a blatant and direct attack on Planned Parenthood and therefore an attempt to limit access to abortion in Utah. As written, this bill would not serve any purpose for the people of Utah. It is a TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) bill that would only make it more difficult for health care providers like Planned Parenthood to offer abortion care and miscarriage management.  

TAKE ACTION: Contact members of the House Rules Committee and tell them the last thing Utah needs is another emotional debate about abortion when time and energy can be spent on policy that will help Utah families during this health and economic crisis. 

Thank you for supporting our work and doing your part to stay informed and active during the Utah Legislative Session.