New Abortion Law Causes Problems for Utah Family

New Abortion Law Causes Problems for Utah Family

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Sam Penrod reportingGlen Combe, Husband: "The child is either going to die or its taken from the mother and it dies now."

An already tough decision for a Utah family, became even tougher today, because of a controversial new state law.

Last week the family learned, their baby would never survive after birth.

So today, the Roy woman had an abortion. But the doctor who had cared for her during her pregnancy could not perform it because of a law state officials tonight are calling ambiguous.

It's because doctors or hospitals now risk legal action for performing abortions, even in rare cases like this.

But for the woman who just learned of a doomed pregnancy, it made the decision to terminate it, even harder.

On May 13th, Glen Combe and his wife thought they would find out the sex of their third child. Instead they learned their baby suffered from a very rare, fetal abnormality.

Dr. Albert Hartman, Family's Physician: "We do an ultrasound and find that is an amniotic band syndrome, that syndrome can’t live, there is not fixing that baby, there is no life for that baby."

Three other doctors agreed with the Combes physician that the pregnancy should be terminated immediately.

But the Combes were told a new state abortion law that went into effect the week before, penalizes doctors and hospitals for performing abortions except in the case or rape or when the mother's life is in danger.

Glen Combe, Husband: "The hospital can't do anything for you because this law has gone in effect...maybe two weeks ago we could have helped you."

The legislature passed the bill in February.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Curtis Bramble declined an interview tonight, telling us he had a Cub Scout meeting.

But in a prepared statement Bramble says: “My heart goes out to the mother, in this tragic, extremely personal situation."

However, Planned Parenthood argues the legislature had its chance to make exceptions in these rare cases.

Karrie Galloway, Planned Parenthood of Utah: "It didn't need to happen. The legislature had an opportunity to consider this very issue, of fetuses incompatible with life or anomaly. They chose to disregard what would happen to these families."

As for the Combes, they hope their story will prevent other families in the future, from being faced with tough decisions, in an already sad family loss.

"Glen Combe: ”Even though we feel we made the right decision we will continue to struggle”

Amendments to the bill to allow rare cases like these, were voted down by lawmakers.

And the Attorney General's office tonight admits the law is ambiguous, and will likely need some clarifications.

Certainly this case will generate more discussion of the specifics of this law.

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