Utah Governor Signs Law Banning Abortion After 18 Weeks


The ban contradicts the Supreme Court ruling that states cannot ban abortion prior to fetal viability outside the womb.

Utah's Governor Gary Herbert signed into law a ban on most abortions past 18 weeks of gestation, ABC News reports.

The Republican governor signed the measure late Monday, and it is expected to take effect in May. Opponents claim that the law is unconstitutional and promised legal pushback. The U.S. Supreme Court prohibits states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability outside the womb, which typically occurs at the 23 week mark, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah notes.

According to the Planned Parenthood of Utah, the new ban is one of many abortion restrictions in the state, which include a mandatory, in-person, informed consent consultation and a 72-hour waiting period prior to the operation.

"This 18-week ban is clearly unconstitutional and part of a broader agenda to ban abortion one law at a time," said president Karrie Galloway in a statement.

In Arkansas, Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has also passed a law imposing an 18-week ban, and other states have considered or approved abortion bans much earlier than 18 weeks.

In cases of rape, fatal fetal deformity, or threat to the mother's health, an abortion may be permitted after the 18 week mark.

Governor Herbert expressed that he is not worried about the cost of a lawsuit, which would cost the state about $2 million if it loses, according to ABC News.

Read the full story here.