On Tuesday a new law took effect making Utah the first state to enact a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can abort a baby.

The bill, HB 461, sponsored by Republican Representative Steve Eliason of Sandy, increased the requisite waiting period by 48 hours, up from the previous mandate of 24 hours.

Eliason introduced the measure in February and it passed the state House of Representatives in early March by a vote of 59-11. After moving on to the state Senate, the bill was passed by that chamber by a vote of 22-6. The Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Senator Curtis Bramble, (R-Provo).

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Eliason described his bill as a “positive change for women and children.” Adding that “at the end of the day, it’s a consumer protection law.”

Not surprisingly, from the beginning Planned Parenthood opposed the imposition of the longer waiting period.

Executive director Karrie Galloway called the new statute “the most onerous law in the land” on abortion.

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