Triggered | News | Salt Lake City

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  • “There’s going to have to be accountability for power – power over other people’s bodies. And unfortunately, what breaks down are the men [having power] on women. – Karrie Galloway

You’re in Utah, you’re pregnant, and for some reason you wish you weren’t. What are you doing?

Even though Utah is a deeply red-blooded, pro-life state, women have access to elective abortions early in their pregnancies. But since the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed Roe v. Wade in June, that could change. And it’s almost impossible to predict what’s next.

To help, City Weekly contacted the president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah Karrie Galloway (who recently announced his retirement at the end of the year) to help us sort out this new country and the state we all live in. Our best interpretation of the law as it stands, coupled with insights from Galloway experts, follows.

Is abortion legal in Utah?
Short answer: For now, yes, up to 18 weeks of fetal development.
Long answer: Utah is one of 13 states to pass a so-called “trigger law,” banning virtually all abortions, in anticipation of a Republican-manipulated Supreme Court overturning decades of legal precedent. The court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health did just that, removing federal protections and giving states full authority to legislate abortion as they see fit.

Utah’s trigger law would have taken effect immediately after the ruling was announced, but Planned Parenthood and others sued the state and won an injunction, suspending the total ban while the courts consider whether or not. no utah State The Constitution guarantees the right to reproductive autonomy.

But these smart legislators did not pass one, but of them trigger laws. The Utah court’s decision to suspend the week zero ban did not touch another pre-Dobbs law raising the state’s threshold for elective abortions to 18 weeks.

Galloway says: “It allowed the state to step in and enforce the 18-week ban, which had never been enforced before. And we’re still following all the other TRAP laws that have been passed over the years.”

What is a TRAP?
Short answer: Obstacles that the state imposes to prevent you from obtaining a legal abortion.
Long answer: TRAP stands for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers and refers to the restrictive – and often medically unsound – laws that many states passed to eliminate abortion services before the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In Utah, this means that before obtaining a legal elective abortion before 18 weeks, a patient must go through a series of steps, all ostensibly designed to make her give up her efforts. These steps include:

—Watch a mandatory, state-produced “informative” video.

— Conduct a face-to-face interview with a qualified healthcare professional.

—Sign an authorization stating that they understand their choice.

—Wait 72 hours to reconsider.

—Then obtain the abortion from the provider, pay all related costs.

Additional measures are regularly sponsored in the Legislative Assembly. Not long ago, now-Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson led an unprecedented strike by female members of the state Senate over a bill requiring patients to undergo and be shown an ultrasound before having an abortion. The bill failed.

The 72-hour waiting period, by design, imposes significant time and travel costs on patients. But technology has made certain steps easier, such as watching the mandatory video online or performing face-to-face consultations virtually.

Galloway says: “Most people choose to do it in person, but we’ve made accommodations using a platform where the optics are so good we can verify the person is who they say they are by holding their ID. in front of his face and it can be determined that, yes, they are that person.”

Can Planned Parenthood win its case against Utah’s abortion ban?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Because federal law has upheld abortion rights for so long, virtually every state is now confronted – many for the first time – with what their respective constitutions say on the subject. This can and will lead to a kaleidoscope of state-level court decisions, with some governments successfully criminalizing abortion while others are compelled by the judiciary to preserve the right to choose.

But proponents of reproductive rights may have even more reason to be optimistic in Utah, as it was one of the last states added to the union and, as a result, its constitution was drafted with relatively sensitivities. modern. That’s why lawmakers reportedly proposed an amendment to explicitly deny the right to abortion, which requires a public vote.

Galloway says:Women were part of the conversation. And our mainstream religion here, at many times in its history, has respected women much more than [lawmakers] do now. It comes back to bite those who want to control these bodies, because [the law] talks about free will and gender equality.”

What if Planned Parenthood loses?
Short answer: Very few Utahns will qualify for a legal Abortion in utah.
Long answer: If enacted, Utah’s trigger law would allow exceptions for rape, incest and maternal life. However, claiming these exceptions would require an ill-defined pile of police reports and other official documents, realistically putting the procedure out of reach for all but the most extreme cases. The few who qualify would still be subject to the TRAP requirements listed above.

Elective abortion services would continue in other states for those able to travel. Colorado, in particular, has taken steps to codify reproductive freedom into its laws, and Planned Parenthood operates a clinic in Glenwood Springs, a stop on Amtrak’s California Zephyr rail line – which runs through Utah – or about 350 road miles east of Salt Lake. Town. A quick Google search suggests that a standard hotel room in Glenwood Springs costs between $100 and $200.

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said its clinic’s doors are open to all patients and about half of its services are currently for out-of-state visitors. “People should be in control of their own bodies, lives and futures no matter where they live,” the spokesperson said.

It remains unclear to what extent it would be legal/illegal in Utah to obtain abortion medication through the mail using telehealth services or to fund a person’s travel and accommodations in a state of reproductive freedom. But organizations are quickly gearing up to offer workarounds to the various state and federal rules that are taking shape.

It should also be noted that prior to Roe, women’s groups performed many safe and clandestine abortions, and while far from the medical ideal, versions of these groups are almost certain to operate clandestinely in anti-abortion states. .

Galloway says: “No one has really been able to figure it out because this triggering law was passed quite capriciously, without any hearings or details. We as Planned Parenthood hired criminal attorneys to help us unearth this language and unfortunately, at this stage, it can only be tested in court, and I will not be asking my staff to volunteer for this.”

Are things going to be okay?
Galloway says: “We will have to take into account power, power over the body of others. And unfortunately, what is collapsing are men [having power] on women. While not all pregnant women identify as female, in its crudest form – totally apolitical, non-conscious, just basic – it is men who control women. And until we have that footing, we’re not going anywhere.

“Until we have gender equality, with the acceptance and awareness of wanting to get along and supporting each other in our needs to live our best lives, we simply can’t do it. “

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