Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Pre-election Abortion Gimmick That was Really a Gimmick

Remember back in October, when three Republican lawmakers held a press conference at the Capitol (with imported Catholics behind them, no less) to announce an abortion bill they were proposing for 2009? You know, the one that would eventually revoke Roe v Wade?

The one the Representative Johnson called a "gimmick?"

Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake City, who was among those holding signs supporting abortion rights, called the announcement a "political stunt" by lawmakers trying to get re-elected, and warned that taxpayers were going to get stuck with the legal tab.
"This is going to waste a lot of time. It's going to waste taxpayer dollars and it doesn't need to be our state that tries to overturn Roe v. Wade," she said.
She says the money could be better spent on things like comprehensive sex education and birth control that would reduce the number of abortions performed.
"I have a duty to defend life," said Sandstrom. "I think it's reprehensible to suggest that defending life is a political gimmick."

Well, now that the election is over and the representatives have won, it's time to wait til next year:

Conservative legislators are backing away from costly plans to take on Roe v. Wade this year -- given Utah's tight budget -- but they want to start stockpiling donations for a future court fight against abortion.

"We are looking at wanting to ban abortion in Utah, period, end of story. However, we want to do it correctly," said Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman. "We're not going to back away from abortion. We're never going to let it die."

Wimmer is working with Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, and Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, on a bill that would bar abortions except in the case of rape, incest or permanent physical harm to the woman.

But the legislators realize Utah doesn't have the estimated $2 million to $7 million it would take to defend such a ban in court. So they are putting off their anti-abortion bill and instead proposing legislation that would create a legal defense fund for a court showdown later.

Wimmer said a private organization was willing to defend an abortion ban and finance the fight. But, he said, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff "would have to give up the right to defend it because, the fact is, it would end up costing about $2 million, and we don't have the money."

However, the Utah Constitution mandates that the case would have to be overseen by Shurtleff, spokesman Paul Murphy said Tuesday.

So, even though this won't cost us anything, we can't do it because Utah doesn't have the money.

Somehow, this statement doesn't work.


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