Utah Republicans Forecast Their Post-‘Roe’ Plans

The Utah Republican Party wants to change its party platform and show no mercy on exceptions for abortion.

Photo of the Utah state Capitol building
Utah Republicans want to take harder stance on abortion than even the LDS Church. George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

The closer we get to a Supreme Court decision that finishes Roe v. Wade for good, the bolder the anti-abortion movement is getting in showing its true colors. In Utah, that means no mercy.

Last week, the Utah Republican Party proposed eliminating exceptions to abortion bans for rape, incest, or preserving the pregnant person’s life—and encouraging adoption instead. As the Salt Lake Tribune notes, that’s a harder stance on abortion than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Republican Delegate Bob McEntee argues that the proposal is merely aesthetic, telling the Tribune:

It’s kind of ugly language. We don’t need to talk about rape or incest. That almost sounded like a permission slip to go get an abortion if this happens.

Where do we even start? For one thing, it’s already clear that Utah Republicans and the anti-abortion movement as a whole don’t care about pregnant people. But this is an example of how they will keep moving the marker as the left makes concessions.

For another, adoption is not an alternative to abortion. Especially when many adoption agencies have disturbing religious ties and discriminatory practices.

Meanwhile, Utahns are waiting for the other shoe to drop: The state has an 18-week abortion ban and a total ban (with some exceptions, that conservatives might now decide to go after) on the books that are currently blocked by the courts.

A reversal of Roe v. Wade that could come with the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could trigger their reinstatement, forcing pregnant Utahns to travel out of state for reproductive care. And it’s hard not to see this latest move as a sign that conservatives fully expects this to happen.

This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.