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Government Specialist Richard Piatt reporting One Utah lawmaker is using the Roe v. Wade anniversary as an opportunity to highlight his own anti-abortion proposal.
The bill's sponsor, Utah County Representative Mike Thompson, doesn't hide the fact that he'd like abortion banned altogether.
This bill is only a step in that direction, but some would argue it's a significant one.
Songs and a prayer kicked off this news conference. These are unusual elements at most media gatherings, but since the topic here is abortion, it's not a total surprise.
In fact, Representative Mike Thompson says a partial birth abortion bill is his responsibility.
"These things are destroying our society, destroying the morals of our people. And we need to start getting back to a moral foundation and doing what's right," Thompson says.
Referring to the procedure as "Infanticide," Thompson joined forces with conservative activists at the Capitol.
Some went beyond Thompson's focus, advocating the overturning of Roe versus Wade. But Thompson's bill defines where a child becomes a child -- later in a woman's pregnancy -- and, he says, protects that unborn fetus from harm.
Karrie Galloway of Planned Parenthood of Utah calls the bill unnecessary; flirting with a constitutional lawsuit.
"I'm appalled and amazed," she says.
Nationwide, Galloway says a small number; .2 percent of all abortions are late term.
Thompson's effort to stop them in Utah, she says, is "grandstanding."
"There are times when certain procedures need to be used, as distasteful as they may be. And now we have a legislator willing to practice medicine for the doctors of this state," Galloway says.
Thompson says he's less interested in talking about penalties in his bill than he is in convincing people abortion is wrong.
But in a year of tight budgets and plenty of other issues at the Legislature, it's clear this fight could be long and bitter all by itself.
Legislative leadership says, full of emotion or not, Thompson's bill will get a hearing this year.