News Abortion

Utah 72 Hour Wait Law Has No Exception For Fetal Abnormality

Robin Marty

What's harder than waiting 72 hours to get an abortion you want?  Waiting 72 hours to get an abortion you don't want.

The 72-hour wait proposed in a pending Utah law is a burdensome and cruel proposal for women in the state who want to terminate unwanted pregnancies.  But without any exception for women who have been told they have fatally-flawed or nonviable pregnancies, the 72 hours is little more than emotional torture.


The legislation also fails to recognize “an exception for fetal anomaly,” according to the ACLU of Utah letter dated March 14. It was signed by executive director Karen McCreary, legislative and policy counsel Marina Lowe and legal director John Mejia.

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“Requiring a woman to wait 72 hours upon discovering the fetus she is carrying will not survive pregnancy is nothing short of cruel, and certainly could not survive constitutional scrutiny,” the letter said.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert said that he will examine the law before signing it, and will review any potential legal issues then. The only other proposed 72 hour waiting period — in South Dakota — has been under injunction since passage due to a ruling that it was likely unconstitutional.

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