SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Republican governor of Utah has signed into a law a bill that requires abortionists to administer anesthesia to unborn babies so that they cannot feel pain as they are being murdered.
“The governor is adamantly pro-life,” a spokesman for Gov. Gary Herbert asserted in a statement on Tuesday. “He believes in not only erring on the side of life, but also minimizing any pain that may be caused to an unborn child.”
As previously reported, S.B. 234, which applies to babies five months in gestation or older, was authored by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo.
“A physician who performs an abortion of an unborn child who is at least 20 weeks gestational age shall administer an anesthetic or analgesic to eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child caused by the particular method of abortion to be employed,” it reads.
The bill provides the exceptions of an adverse affect of the anesthesia on the mother, or if “the abortion is performed because the fetus has a defect that is uniformly diagnosable and uniformly lethal.”
Bramble’s legislation is based on studies that state babies can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation, although some opine that it is sooner. The most common abortion method at 20 weeks is dilation and extraction (D&E), where the child is removed piece by piece, and his or her body parts are laid onto a tray and reassembled to ensure that every bit of the baby was extracted.
Earlier this month, the Utah Senate voted 19-5 in favor of Bramble’s bill, moving it on to the House where it also passed 57-10.
Abortion advocates have decried the measure.
“This law is about stopping abortion,” Dr. Anne Davis of Physicians for Reproductive Health told CNN. “This is just another measure to deter women from getting abortions.”
But abortion abolitionists have also decried the move, stating that it is absurd for pro-lifers to permit the murder of unborn children as long as the babies are drugged before they are killed.
“Bills such as these are keeping abortion ‘safe and legal’ and are only delaying the day of total abolition. They say crazy things (after more than 40 years!) like, ‘Its not all we wanted, but its a step in the right direction,” said Abolish Human Abortion on social media on Tuesday. “But, these politicians have taken oaths to uphold their state and federal constitutions, which in no way give anyone the right to murder their own children. They could end abortion; they just don’t want to.”
As previously reported, Gov. Gary Herbert has stated that he is personally opposed to abortion, but that if the practice is considered legal in America, it should be carried out as “humanely” as possible.
“You know, abortion is a very emotional issue,” he told reporters at a news conference last month. “Rather than get into the abortion debate, I guess the question is: If we’re going to have abortion, what is the most humane way to do it?”
Nearly 60 million children have been murdered in the womb since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade.