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Proposed abortion ban after 18 weeks passes Utah House

February 27, 2019 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah House has passed a proposal to ban most abortions after 18 weeks of gestation.

The Tuesday vote sends to the state Senate the measure that opponents warn is likely unconstitutional and could embroil the state in a costly legal fight.

Supporters argue it would significantly reduce the number of second-trimester abortions, a procedure that Republican sponsor Rep. Cheryl Acton has said “shocks the conscience.” She says potential legal costs would be worth it.

Her plan would allow exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother and fatal fetal defects.

The 18-week deadline is in line with a similar proposal in Arkansas.

Opponents say it would insert government into a decision that should be between a woman and her doctor.

Currently, Utah allows abortions up to 22 weeks gestation.