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Utah Data Collection Bill Heads to Gov. Herbert

Utah Data Collection Bill Heads to Gov. Herbert

March 14, 2013 — The Utah House on Tuesday voted 56-17 to pass a measure (SB 60) that would require the state to collect and retain abortion data that it currently reports to the federal government, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. It now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert (R) for consideration (Montero, Salt Lake Tribune, 3/12).

The bill -- sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton (R) -- would require the Utah Health Department to collect data on women who obtain abortions, including their race or ethnicity; the stage of gestation; and the stated reason, if any, for the abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/21).

Opponents Voice Privacy Concerns

Opponents raised concerns that the bill invades women's privacy. State Rep. Kraig Powell (R) called the measure "intrusive," while Rep. Brian King (D) said the bill is an "overreach" by the government. State Rep. Larry Wiley (D) said the measure could be laying a foundation for future abortion restrictions.

Proponents of the bill said it is not overly intrusive because it would not disclose women's identities and the federal government already collects similar data (Salt Lake Tribune, 3/12).