February 21, 2013 — The Utah Senate on Tuesday voted 21-2 to advance a bill (SB 60) that would require that the state collect data about women who obtain abortions, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The measure requires a final Senate vote, which will take place later this week, before heading to the House for debate.
The bill would require the Utah Health Department to collect data on a woman's race or ethnicity; the stage of gestation; and the stated reason, if any, for the abortion.
State Sen. Margaret Dayton (R) -- the bill's sponsor -- said the federal government already requires providers to complete forms with such information, but she wants to ensure the state still collects the data if the federal forms change. She said the information can help the Legislature make "wise" abortion-related policy decisions, including on a measure she previously offered that would ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus.
Karrie Galloway, director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, questioned the need to duplicate the federal rules. "(Dayton) has intent that is not always in the same interests I have for women's health," she said, adding "I don't know whether she needed an abortion bill and now she has one" (Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune, 2/19).