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Utah House committee OKs bill to ban abortions after 18 weeks

By Emily Ashcraft, KSL | Posted - Feb. 21, 2019 at 7:00 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — After hearing personal testimony on both sides of the issue, the House Judiciary Committee voted 7-5 to recommend a bill that would amend abortion law to prohibit abortions after 18 weeks.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, said HB136 still preserves a woman's right to have an abortion but limits it to the first 18 weeks. According to Acton, the bill is different from those in many other states because of exceptions including if the pregnancy results from rape and if the fetus has a lethal defect or severe brain abnormalities.

Dr. Cara Heuser, with Intermountain Healthcare, spoke against the bill, noting that an ultrasound where doctors would begin to find abnormalities occurs between 18 and 20 weeks of gestation, and many issues would be found even later.

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