Utah grew to become the newest state to enact an anti-abortion regulation on Wednesday after Gov. Spencer Cox signed laws stopping abortion clinics from acquiring new licenses within the coming months. The regulation eliminates the process altogether at well being clinics in 2024.
The transfer comes amid a push by states to find out their very own abortion legal guidelines after the U.S. Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade. Many Republican-controlled states have rushed to outlaw abortions within the post-Roe healthcare panorama, whereas Democratic states have sought to codify abortion rights.
Cox, a Republican, signed the regulation which implements a de-licensing course of, stopping clinics from acquiring new licenses after Might 2. The regulation institutes an entire ban on abortion procedures at well being clinics beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
Utah’s lawmakers have beforehand mentioned the regulation would defend “the innocent” and “the unborn,” including the state now not wants abortion clinics after the excessive court docket overturned the constitutional proper to abortion.
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Its passage prompted some confusion amongst clinics, hospitals and potential sufferers, as hospital directors haven’t publicly detailed their plans to adapt to the brand new regulation.
Deliberate Parenthood Affiliation of Utah and the Utah Hospital Affiliation additional declined to element how the brand new authorized panorama for suppliers in Utah will have an effect on abortion entry.
At the least 21 states are embroiled in authorized fights to outlaw or preserve abortion.
Jason Stevenson, a Deliberate Parenthood lobbyist, mentioned Wednesday the affiliation could be “looking closely” on the wording of the 1,446-line regulation and will apply for a brand new license to carry out hospital-equivalent providers.
Stevenson mentioned Deliberate Parenthood may proceed to supply nearly all of its providers comparable to STI and being pregnant testing, together with most cancers screenings.
He didn’t say whether or not the clinics would apply at this level.
Jill Vicory, a spokesperson for the Utah Hospital Affiliation, mentioned in an e-mail to the Related Press that it was “too early to comment” on whether or not hospitals would change into the one abortion suppliers in Utah, noting every “will need to make a determination on how they choose to proceed.”
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Hospitals usually have greater healthcare prices in comparison with clinics and proceed to face staffing shortages which have been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.
Dr. Carole Joffe, a College of California, San Francisco professor, predicted these variations may stop or delay healthcare choices to potential sufferers.
“Everything in a hospital is more expensive than in a clinic. Doing an abortion in a hospital, you need more personnel,” Joffe mentioned.
Joffe additionally speculated that discovering workers, each when it comes to recruitment and getting personnel to supply abortions, could possibly be tougher in states, like Utah, the place anti-abortion sentiment runs sturdy.
The Utah Hospital Affiliation mentioned no hospitals offered elective abortions within the state final yr.
The brand new regulation additionally comes amid authorized limbo surrounding a pair of different abortion legal guidelines signed in Utah.
One regulation, which was signed in 2020, utterly bans abortions no matter trimester, with few exceptions. The Deliberate Parenthood Affiliation of Utah sued and, in July, a state court docket delayed its implementation till authorized challenges could possibly be resolved.
Abortions stay authorized in Utah for as much as 18 weeks, following the passage of a 2019 ban.
The Related Press contributed to this report
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