Utah Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act (HB 166)
This law was last updated on Mar 25, 2019
HB 166 would prohibit the performance of an abortion if the pregnant person’s sole reason for seeking the abortion is because the fetus has or may have Down syndrome.
The bill would require the state Department of Health to provide contact information for state and national Down syndrome organizations that are nonprofit and that provide information and support services for parents, including first-call programs and information hotlines specific to Down syndrome, resource centers or clearinghouses, and other education and support programs for Down syndrome. The department would be required to post the information in its website and create an informational sheet for abortion providers.
The bill would require abortion providers to provide the informational sheet created by the Department of Health to a pregnant person seeking an abortion when the result of a prenatal screening or diagnostic test indicates that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome.
Abortion Prohibition (Trigger Clause)
The bill would prohibit a person from intentionally performing or attempting to perform an abortion if the pregnant person’s sole reason for the abortion is that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome unless it’s necessary to avert the death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant person.
This abortion provision would only take effect if a similar law is upheld in court elsewhere.
The bill would require an abortion pathology report to provide information—through a prenatal screening or other diagnostic test—about whether an aborted fetus had or may have had Down syndrome.
The bill would require physicians who performed an abortion to state whether the physician had any knowledge that the pregnant person sought the abortion solely because the fetus had or may have had Down syndrome.
Similar to HB 205, which failed to pass in 2018.
1/23/19 – Prefiled.
1/29/19 – Introduced.
2/15/19 – Passed the House by a 54-15 vote.
2/22/19 – Approved by senate committee.
2/28/19 – Passed the Senate by a 20-6 vote.
3/22/19 – Signed by Gov. Gary Herbert (R).