Utah Gov. Spencer Cox to sign bill banning abortion clinic operations

The governor of Utah plans to sign legislation that would effectively ban abortion clinics inside the state.

Gov. Spencer Cox announced his intention Friday after the legislation passed the Utah Senate on Thursday.

Under the expected law, abortions would not be procurable from clinics and all legal abortion procedures would need to be performed in a hospital.

The proposal, introduced by Utah state Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, would ban licensing of new abortion clinics within the state. It would also cease the operation of all current abortion clinics once their licenses expire.

The legislation also confirms the state’s definition of abortion in order to address concerns on liability in legal exceptions to the Utah abortion ban.

“One of the concerns with the trigger bill that medical providers had across the state was there was a lack of clarity that would have made it hard for them to perform legal abortions,” said Cox.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, a 2020 Utah state law banning abortions was immediately triggered into effect. 

The ban does not apply in pregnancies involving rape, incest, threat to maternal well-being, and other common cases of exception.

Cox signed a bill in January banning gender-affirming surgery on minors who have not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. 

The governor said it was important to pause “these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences.”

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