Utah governor signs bill requiring administration of anesthesia during abortion
Mar 29, 2016 04:26 AM EDT
Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed a new bill on Monday requiring the administration of anesthesia to women having an abortion. It is the first state in the United States to impose this type of regulation.
As reported by Reuters, the new law will require doctors who are performing abortions to administer anesthesia to women who seek elective abortion at around 20 weeks. The previous law of the state only gave women a choice of having an anesthesia or not.
The law is based on a study that during this stage of pregnancy, a fetus can already feel pain, thus, an anesthesia is required. According to Salon, Laura Banker of the conservative group United families said doctors should do everything possible to prevent the fetus from feeling any pain and make sure that they are comfortable.
Several doctors in Utah, however, are concerned regarding the risk that women will undergo if they will be given heavy sedation in order to protect the fetus from feeling any pain. Dr. Sean Esplin of Intermountain Healthcare in Utah said the new law will force women to go into a risky process on a basis of a vague conclusion. Esplin added that in order to protect the fetus, women will have to undergo general anesthesia which will also require breathing tubes and heavy doses of narcotics, as per The Daily Mail.
According to a policy analyst of the abortion-rights nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, Elizabeth Nash, no state in the coutry has passed a similar law. In 2015, Montana attempted to pass the same law but a Democratic governor blocked the bill and prevented it from becoming legal.
The Utah law defines abortion as the intentional termination or attempted termination of human pregnancy after the implantation of a fertilized ovum through a medical procedure carried out by a physician or a substance under the supervision of a physician. Utah's Governor Gary Herbert said he supported the bill due to his stand as a pro-life advocate.