Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has signed a bill that bans abortion clinics from operating in the state.
The bill, H.B. 467, prohibits all abortion clinics from the state beginning in January 2024.
Before the complete shutdown, the bill also prohibits licensing abortion clinics after May 2, 2023.
Hospitals will still be permitted to provide abortions in certain circumstances.
According to a report from Breitbart News, “besides banning abortion clinics, the bill makes it a criminal offense for anyone other than doctors licensed in Utah to prescribe abortion pills. The bill also requires physicians to inform a woman that perinatal hospice and perinatal palliative care services are available if her unborn baby has been diagnosed with a ‘fetal abnormality that is incompatible with life.’ The bill additionally outlaws abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape and incest, and allows doctors who abort unborn babies in violation of state laws to face discipline for unprofessional conduct.”
Three of the four abortion clinics in the state are run by Planned Parenthood.
Jason Stevenson, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, told the Associated Press that the organization will “now further examine the wording, implications and whether other provisions of the bill allowed clinics to apply for a new kind of license to perform hospital-equivalent services.”
Stevenson said that it is Planned Parenthood’s current understanding that the clinics will no longer be allowed to perform abortions with their current licenses.
The AP report states that “the Utah Hospital Association said no hospitals provided elective abortions in the state last year. It declined to answer questions about whether plans were in place to accommodate additional patients likely to seek care if clinics close.”
Abortions have been legal in the state up to 18 weeks prior to the signing of the bill.