Utah Enacts 72-Hour Mandatory Waiting Period for Abortions
This week, Utah became the only state in the country to enact a law that requires a 72- hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion. The state measure, passed earlier this year and enacted on Tuesday, requires a woman seeking an abortion to undergo a face-to-face consultation with a medical practitioner at a clinic, then wait 3 full days before the actual procedure. The effect of the law is compounded by the fact that there are only two clinics that provide abortions in the entire state of Utah, both located in Salt Lake City.
Planned Parenthood Director Karen Galloway said the way the law is written, no one is in charge of overseeing compliance. "We're left with a system that right now puts the burden - in fact a possible criminal burden - on the physician providing the procedure with no verifiable process for confirming the informed consent."
According to RH Reality Check, the law "sounds quite a bit like nearly every other piece of anti-choice legislation, determined to create a process so laden with potential legal pitfalls that no doctor will feel comfortable providing abortions." Opponents of the law have not ruled out the possibility of filing a lawsuit, though Galloway notes, "the reality of doing a legal challenge is daunting - the cost and time, all of that."
South Dakota passed a similar law last year, but it was challenged in court before it ever took effect. 26 other states require a waiting period of 24 hours.
Media Resources: Democracy Now 5/9/12; International Business Times 5/9/12; RH Reality Check 5/7/12; Salt Lake City Tribune 5/7/12
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .
6/26/2015 Supreme Court Declares Marriage Equality a Constitutional Right - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that same-sex couples fundamentally have equal protections under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all 50 states to both license a marriage and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. . . .
6/26/2015 President Obama Delivers Moving Eulogy in Charleston - The nation is remembering the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting this week, as President Obama gave an unforgettable eulogy for State Senate Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
President Obama knew Reverend Pinckney personally, meeting him during his 2008 election campaign. . . .