US: Utah lawmakers pass 18-week abortion bans

Publié le 8 Apr, 2019

The Governor of Utah signed a law Monday evening restricting abortion, which can now only be performed before the eighteenth week of pregnancy. Republican Cheryl Acton, who sponsored the measure, said that the goal was to reduce the number of second-trimester abortions that “shock the conscience”.


Some exceptions are provided for by law: rape, fatal foetal deformities, and serious risks to the mother’s health.


The law is due to come into force next May, but opponents have already announced that they will pursue legal action. “This 18-week ban is clearly unconstitutional and part of a broader program to ban abortion by law”, said Karrie Galloway, President of the ACLU [1] in Utah, in a statement, recalling the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that states cannot ban abortion until the foetus is viable outside the womb.


Gary Herbert, Governor of Utah, recently signed into law this year a measure banning abortion if the only reason is a foetal diagnosis of Down syndrome (see US: Utah votes to ban abortions of foetuses with genetic abnormalities ).

For further reading:

Premature newborns: the viability age of babies keeps getting younger


[1] The American Civil Liberties Union is a pro-choice organisation whose mission is to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee to everyone in this country”.

Medical Press, Lindsay Whitehurst (26/03/2019)

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