News Abortion

Utah Legislator Considers Expanding Her Planned Gender-Based Abortion Ban to Include Race

Robin Marty

Despite there being no issues with abortions based on gender or race occuring in the state, one legislator wants to ban them just in case.

Utah already has the longest mandatory waiting period in the country, requiring women who want to terminate their pregnancies to wait at least 72 hours after meeting with an abortion provider before she can actually have an the procedure. The justification? According to Utah legislators, women apparently don’t think long enough about whether or not they really want to carry a pregnancy to term and bear a child. Now, a Utah legislator wants to address another non-existent abortion issue: women who abort because they don’t like the race or gender of the fetus.

Via ABC4 News:

In a phone conversation Tuesday, [Republican State Senator Margaret] Dayton said,

“I think it’s a concern. I think there is a need to protect the unborn.”

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Dayton says gender-selection abortion bills like hers have already been passed in several other states and suggests Utah now might need to take a look at it as well.

But Dayton isn’t just looking at gender; her bill might also try to prevent abortions based on the baby’s race.

She told us,

“I feel like it would be very concerning if abortion were performed specifically for the purpose of race. For someone saying I am not interested in having a child the same race as the man that impregnated me.”

Margaret Dayton was the senate sponsor for the bill that allowed women (and girls) to be charged with homicide for attempting to induce their own abortions outside of a medical setting, a bill inspired by the Utah teen who paid someone to beat her in the stomach in an attempt to miscarry because she couldn’t get an abortion.

Dayton had announced back in June her intentions to propose a bill, beginning the “discovery” period back in the late spring. But originally, she said she was only focusing on gender based abortions, not race based. 

Utah has an abortion rate of less than seven percent, according to Guttmacher, making it one of the lowest rates in the country. The population is predominately Caucasian, with almost 92 percent identifying as White in the 2011 census.

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