Home > Issues & Alerts > Legislative Alerts > Utah Government Takes Another Stab at Unborn (Alert for 9/7/04)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Utah Government Takes Another Stab at Unborn

(Alert for 9/7/04 Last Updated on 1/23/06)


Update! Despite unanimous citizen input against it at the September hearing, this revised ruling (R414-1B) passed.  Taxpayer funding of frivolous abortions is once again authorized.  See a flyer on sen. Curt Bramble's betrayal.  Also note that legislators must vote each year to reject or pass this rule.  See how your legislators voted to approve taxpayer funded murder in our 2005 Legislative Performance Report.

 

"The sovereign authority in any country is the power
of making laws..." Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Summary: The Utah Department of Health, in collaboration with various officials, has published a new "ruling" that would allow taxpayer resources such as equipment, facilities, and employees to be used for all types of abortion on demand. Citizens will again demand a public hearing.  Take action.

Topics:

1. Background of Deceit & Manipulation

2. Taxpayer Assets Again Used in Abortions

3. TAKE ACTION! The Buck Stops with Your Legislators

 

1. Background of Deceit & Manipulation

If you missed the history of the battle to end taxpayer funding of abortion on demand, we recommend that you see our previous alert on the July 19 public hearing, our original alert on UDOH's first "ruling", and our alert on various officials such as Gov. Walker and Sen. Bramble who publicly advocate forcing taxpayers to fund euthanasia in the womb.

As a brief recap, over 3,200 frivolous abortions are performed in Utah every year, many of which are funded by tax dollars.  Senate Bill 68, passed last session, made it less convenient to obtain abortions on demand by protecting taxpayers from being forced to directly or indirectly fund the procedures.

SB 68 was extremely effective at ending abortions in Utah hospitals.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

"The law, which took effect May 3, cuts off public funding to any agency that performs abortions except in cases of rape, incest or severe damage to a 'major bodily function' of the mother. Fearing the loss of Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program reimbursements, Utah hospitals have stopped performing the rare procedures."
Source: "Abortion curbs might be eased," Rebecca Walsh, Salt Lake Tribune, May 27, 2004.

Abortions are still being performed in private "clinics" that claim to not receive state or local taxpayer funds.

Sen. Bramble and UDOH collaborated on an administrative "ruling" to gut SB 68 and open the floodgates to taxpayer-funded abortions.  Citizens demanded a public hearing and exposed many of the faults of the "ruling" and the sham process that allows bureaucrats to destroy a law passed by the people's elected representatives.

Under citizen pressure, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), in collaboration with various officials like Sen. Curt Bramble, General  Mark Shurtleff, and Gov. Olene Walker, has published a new "ruling".

Back to Topics

2. Taxpayer Assets Again Used in Abortions

Here are two reasons why this new "ruling" must be utterly rejected:

1) It does not adequately prevent taxpayer-funded assets from being used to perform abortions on demand. As UDOH admitted in the July 19 public hearing, it does not consider taxpayer-funded employees, facilities, equipment, etc., to fall in the definition of direct or indirect public funding of abortion.  According to their new definition of "public funds":

(3) "Public funds" means money of the state, its institutions or its political subdivisions used to pay or otherwise reimburse a person, agency, or facility.
(Note: As we previously reported, UDOH has written this definition so that it will be applied to all abortions.  Various news sources have inaccurately reported that this ruling only applies to certain cases, such as "grave fetal defects.")
Money is definitely part of "public funds".  But what about public (or taxpayer) funds that were used to:
  • Build the facility that allows abortions to occur?

  • Purchase equipment that may also be used to perform abortions?

  • Pay for employees who may also perform abortions?
Under SB 68, those things would fall under the definition of "public funds".  According to SB 68:
(2) Public funds of the state, its institutions, or its political subdivisions may not be used to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency, or facility for the performance of any induced abortion services unless... [specific exceptions are then listed, such as incest, rape, and permanent, irreparable, and grave damage to the mother]

If equipment, employees, and facilities were paid for by taxpayers, they should never be used to perform abortions on demand period. Sen. Bramble and UDOH have chosen to ignore the fact that SB 68 was written and intended to prevent this outrage.  But Accountability Utah volunteers who helped to draft, edit, and review the final version of SB 68 have not forgotten.

2) There is no way to verify compliance with this "ruling".  UDOH claims that it will closely monitor expenses made and taxpayer assets used in abortions on demand. UDOH even claims to have special formulas and forms that hospitals must comply with to compensate the state for all taxpayer assets used. Even if this were the case, there no way to independently verify compliance by UDOH and the hospitals.
Note: Assistant Attorney General Doug Springmeyer recently seemed to imply that the federal government might audit UDOH and the participating hospitals.  It is implausible on its face that the federal government would audit to ensure compliance with a state statute. Source: "Health officials revise rule relating to doomed pregnancies," Rebecca Walsh, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep. 1, 2004.

According to SB 68, a government employee will only be fired if it can be proven that he/she "knowingly" provided abortion funds illegally.  All UDOH would have to do to avoid the penalty is fail to conduct a real comprehensive audit. Considering that Planned Parenthood listed UDOH as one of their top 5 paid contractors in 2002, and that UDOH officials have repeatedly proven their callous indifference for the unborn and for taxpayers, it is doubtful that UDOH will be dutiful in enforcing even their own "ruling".

Back to Topics

3. TAKE ACTION! The Buck Stops with Your Legislators

Once again, the lives of real human beings are on the line.  We owe it to ourselves to do all we can to extricate ourselves from funding these heinous acts.

Doug Springmeyer, UDOH spokesman and Assistant Attorney General under Mark Shurtleff, did speak truthfully when he outlined who is ultimately responsible to stop this "ruling": Sen. Howard Stephenson, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, Rep. David Ure, who hopes to become the next House Speaker, the members of the Administrative Rules Review Committee, and your legislators.

Therefore, we strongly recommend the following actions:

1. Implore the intervention of Divine Providence.

2. Call (and, if possible, fax and email) the officials below.  Let them know that you see through the charade and that the entire "ruling" must be rescinded immediately as lives hang in the balance.

Please inform us of any responses you receive at info@accountabilityutah.org.

3. Forward this message to your family, friends, and any activists you know. Encourage them to voice their concerns and get involved.

4. Volunteer to help flier the districts of collaborating officials by e-mailing us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

5. Volunteer to participate with Accountability Utah's new "Abortion/Infanticide Task Force".

6. Monitor this site for new and updated information and join our alert list by e-mailing us at info@accountabilityutah.orgKeep in mind that another public hearing will be held soon.

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Accountability Utah recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine the law and draw your own conclusions. For more information on similar issues, see the Infanticide section of our Issues & Alerts page.

If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

 

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