A Utah bill that will require abortion providers to get more detailed information from their patients, including their race and the reason they are seeking an abortion, is on its way to the governor’s desk for signature. But while the bill passed easily out of both the House and Senate, there was still a contentious debate when it came to why exactly women seeking to terminate a pregnancy must provide so much personal identifying information while those who want to get a firearm permit in the state can simply check off some boxes saying they aren’t a felon and be done with it.
Via the Salt Lake Tribune:
[T]he debate on the floor briefly morphed into a comparison between gathering private data from women on abortions and lawmakers’ reluctance to gather similar private data on people who purchase firearms.
“When you’re getting a gun permit, do they ask your race?” Rep. Janice Fisher, D-West Valley City, asked. “Do they ask your ethnicity?”
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Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, said there was a key difference.
“In the Constitution, recognizing inalienable rights … recognizing the right to defend one’s life and one’s liberty,” Ivory said. “There is no right in the Constitution to terminate a life. That is the difference.”
Of course, the Constitution does offer a right to privacy that, according to the Supreme Court, does include the right to make personal medical decisions even if that means ending a pregnancy. Even more so, the “right to defend one’s life and one’s liberty” being touted by Rep. Ivory would imply that he would be using arms to fight an allegedly threatening foe, which in itself would likely be a “termination of a life.”
If Rep. Ivory wants to create his own history regarding what is or isn’t in the Constitution, so be it, but he should at least remain consistent. Especially if he plans to use those arguments to underscore his votes in the legislature.
The reporting bill is the only anti-choice piece of legislation being discussed this session. The state already has a 72-hour waiting period for an abortion in place.