Richard Piatt ReportingThe Utah House is saying 'no' to public funding for abortions. Lawmakers passed a bill today that makes it a crime for health care providers who get public funding to perform abortions.
The debate on this issue sparked some raw emotions over two days last week in the House. And today's short discussion included an apology.
Representative Stephen Clark suggested last week that women who were raped should carry a fetus through birth. That comment, along a comment from the bill sponsor that a deformed fetus should be carried to term, received national publicity. But the bill's main intent--to take a strong stand on abortion--remains in tact through these debates.
Rep. Stephen Clark, (R) Provo: "I apologize, I sincerely apologize. I don't want to offend anyone. I innocently explain to explain a position that I've always had and that is protection of the fetus."
Bev Cooper, Planned Parenthood: "I think during this debate and the debate we had before, we saw Utah representatives saying horrible things about Utah women. And Utah women live their values, and I don't know who they're talking about."
Meantime today, the 'Anti-U.N.' bill has died in a Senate committee. Representative Don Bush is working for a second year in row to send a message to Congress that the United States should withdraw its support.
That measure is one of several that has thrust Utah into the national spotlight in recent weeks, along with Arizona and Idaho.