Utah governor says he will sign statewide abortion clinic ban

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R).
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R). Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) said Friday that he would sign a bill effectively outlawing abortion clinics in his state, The Associated Press reported.

Cox's remarks came after the Utah state Senate passed legislation that would stop the issuance of abortion licenses to private clinics in May. The bill now goes to Cox's desk for him to sign, something that he has pledged to do. When it goes into effect, AP noted, hospitals will be the only places in Utah where a woman will be able to obtain a legal abortion.

However, Cox, who Time magazine noted is often considered one of the nation's most moderate Republican governors, also said that he ensured the bill had a provision that would address liability concerns brought up among healthcare providers.

"One of the concerns with the trigger bill that medical providers had across the state was there was a lack of clarity that would have made it hard for them to perform legal abortions," Cox said, calling the provision a "compromise" among himself and more far-right Republicans.

Despite these assurances, though, abortion providers in Utah have raised concerns that the legislation, which comes less than a year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wadecould have more far-reaching consequences than intended.

"Allowing some clinics to ... be viewed as a hospital and offer these services doesn't change the fact that it's going to cause additional restrictions," said Jason Stevenson, the policy director of Planned Parenthood Utah, per the Salt Lake Tribune

The Utah ACLU also sent a letter to Cox urging him to veto the legislation, saying they were "deeply concerned about the restrictions this bill places on the right of Utahns to decide if and when to have a child."

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