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Proposed law would penalize doctors for not providing info to woman seeking abortion

SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee endorsed a bill Wednesday that would penalize doctors for not showing women an informational video before performing an abortion.

"All were doing is asking the doctor and his staff to follow the law," said Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, sponsor of SB118. "But if they're willfully disobeying it, there should be a penalty there."

Weiler said he is running the legislation because he was "shocked" to learn there is no enforcement provision in current law. The bill does not create any new barriers to a woman getting abortion, he said.

The bill phases out a 40-year-old outdated video and replaces it with a information module that could easily be updated as laws change, Weiler said. It also moves away from face-to-face consultations with patients "so we're not forcing doctors to say things that they don't agree with," Weiler said.

The Utah Eagle Forum, Pro-Life Utah and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City testified in favor of the measure.

SB118 unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee. It now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.