Thursday, May 20, 2004

UTAH'S NEW ABORTION STATUTE

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This is troubling:
Because of a new Utah law, Suzie Combe had to go a clinic instead of her hospital to have her fatally deformed fetus aborted.

She and her husband, Glen, had to act quickly after discovering the fetus had organs growing outside its body and could not survive. They had only days to have the procedure performed before a more complicated procedure would have been necessary.

They went to clinic Wednesday and found the service was "kind and caring and professional" beyond what they expected, Glen Combe said. Suzie Combe was recovering at home in Roy Wednesday night.

...

Under a law enacted by the Legislature this year, it is a crime for doctors, clinics or hospitals that receive any state funding - directly or indirectly- to perform abortions except for rape, incest or the likelihood that a woman would suffer "permanent, irreparable and grave damage to a major bodily function" if she delivers.

The legislators voted down an amendment that would have allowed abortions in the case of grave fetal deformities.

...

The Combes, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, say they are not pro-choice. They have two other children.

...

It is estimated that in Utah, 70 women a year terminate their pregnancies due to fatal fetal deformities.

Bramble said last month that trying to define fetal deformities was a "slippery slope."

"What is the definition of what's 'incompatible with life'? How long is it inconsistent with life? A breath? A minute? A month?" he said. "I have an inherent discomfort with trying to decide which child should live and which child it's appropriate to terminate their life.
Legislators and lawmakers have to make principled distinctions all the time. There will always be close calls, but this case certainly wasn't one of them.