Politics » Herbert's veto of original abortion measure was his first such action as governor.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law Monday a bill that would allow a woman who arranges an illegal abortion to be charged with criminal homicide.
The new law is in response to a case last year where a 17-year-old pregnant girl paid a man $150 to beat her in hopes of inducing a miscarriage. A judge ruled there was no law on Utah's books allowing the mother to be charged with a crime.
The bill's original version drew national headlines because it allowed criminal charges if the mother's behavior was "reckless." That raised concerns that a mother who fell on the ice or was an avid jogger and suffered a miscarriage could be charged with a crime.
Herbert balked at signing that language and the bill's sponsor, Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, quickly revised the legislation to remove the word "reckless."
Herbert vetoed the original legislation, HB12, Monday -- his first veto as a governor -- and signed the revised version, HB462.
"I appreciate the willingness of Representative Wimmer to re-evaluate the impact of potential unintended consequences arising from the inclusion of 'reckless' behavior" in the original bill, Herbert wrote in his veto letter. "[The revised bill] is more consistent with the true intent of the legislation and addresses those situations in which the termination of a pregnancy is intentional and is not conducted at a physician's direction."