A Utah lawmaker wants to ban abortions after 15 weeks. If her bill passes, it would be among the most restrictive laws in the nation.

This article originally appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune. Read it in its entirety here.

A Utah representative has introduced a bill that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, a law that would be among the most restrictive in the nation.

The state’s existing law allows abortions up until a fetus is viable outside the womb, or well into the second trimester. By that point, Rep. Cheryl Acton argues, an abortion can cause greater physical and emotional trauma to a woman. It can also involve a surgical procedure — called dilation and evacuation — that she finds objectionable.

“It shocks the conscience for me, the second trimester abortions, and for a lot of people,” Acton, R-West Jordan, said.

Her bill would carve out exceptions to the 15-week abortion limitfor cases of rape or incest, if the life of the mother is at stake or if the fetus has a lethal defect.

Mississippi last year passed a similar bill that would forbid abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, but the law was swiftly challenged by the state’s only abortion clinic. A federal judge in November struck down the law, ruling that U.S. Supreme Court precedent prohibits states from banning abortions before a fetus is viable, or after about 23 or 24 weeks of gestation.

Mississippi leaders signaled their intent to push forward with an appeal, according to the Associated Press.

In a news release, Rep. Angela Romero noted that courts have also blocked attempts to enact six- and 12-week bans in North Dakota and Arkansas.

“This is a federal issue, and the state should leave it alone,” Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said in a prepared statement. “Bills like this that have been tried by other states are always struck down. It’s a waste of time. It’ll never stand up in court.”

A progressive group, Alliance for a Better Utah, also came out with a statement against the legislation, saying the bill is an unconstitutional attempt to whittle away access to safe abortions.

“Message bills such as this abortion ban are an embarrassment to our state,” Lauren Simpson, policy director for Alliance for a Better Utah, said in a prepared statement.

This article originally appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune. Read it in its entirety here.

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