Utah House Approves 72-Hour Waiting Period Before Abortion Care

March 7, 2012 — The Utah House on Monday voted 59-11 to approve an amended version of a bill (HB 461) that would require women seeking abortion care to wait 72 hours before the procedure, the Deseret News reports. The current waiting period is 24 hours.

Opponents of the measure argued that the waiting period would put an undue burden on women, especially those who live far from Salt Lake City, where the state's only abortion clinic is located. The bill was amended to remove a provision that would have required the initial consultation to take place at an abortion clinic.

Rep. Steve Eliason (R), the bill's sponsor, claimed that the waiting period could lead to fewer abortions. He said it would not limit women's ability to obtain the procedure.

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss (D) was the only member of the House to speak against the bill, which she said intrudes into private medical decisions (Romboy, Deseret News, 3/5).