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Letter: Recently proposed abortion legislation shows Utah missed the boat in sex education

The Utah House of Representatives on the first day of the Utah Legislature’s 2021 general session in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

While I agree that those considering abortion should do so thoughtfully and have the information available to make an educated decision, Rep. Steve Christiansen’s proposed bill makes a tired assumption that those seeking the legal medical procedure are doing so through haste or ignorance.

Utah is not alone in discussing, or passing, measures designed to reduce the number of abortions through education. However, if we are waiting until someone has already gotten pregnant and decided to abort a fetus to educate them on how babies are made, it seems we’ve missed the boat.

We would do far better to improve the education and resources available to teenagers and young adults prior to conception rather than trying to talk them out of a medical procedure after the fact. If my experience with sex education at the Utah high school I graduated from is any indication what we’re teaching teenagers statewide, we’ve got lots of room for improvement.

Forcing patients and providers to dole out measures designed to convince women to keep an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy seems needlessly coercive and punitive, not to mention ineffective. A better approach is to give them the tools they need in advance to avoid it altogether.

Lisa Hahne

Salt Lake City