SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would penalize health care providers who don't show women an informational video or module before they undergo an abortion moved forward in the Senate on Friday afternoon.
The Senate voted 26-1 on SB118's second reading, sending the bill to a third reading.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said the bill phases out an 1980s-era video and replaces it with a information module developed by the Utah Department of Health that could easily be updated as laws change.
It also moves away from legislatively required face-to-face physician consultations with patients that the fetus may experience pain during an abortion.
"One advantage of this bill is we're going to move that information to the information module. That way, no doctor is going to be forced by the Legislature to say things that the doctor doesn't believe himself or herself to be true. I think that's one of the major advantages of this bill," Weiler said.
The bill requires the woman to watch the module at least 72 hours before an abortion.
In committee debate, Weiler said he is running the legislation because he was "shocked" to learn there is no enforcement provision in current law ensuring health care providers comply with the video requirement.
The bill creates a class A misdemeanor if someone working in the clinic tells the doctor the module has been completed by a patient, "when in fact it had not been completed," Weiler said.
The bill does not create any new barriers to a woman getting abortion, he said.