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Bramble's abortion bill moves to House as session nears end

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(KUTV) A bill that would require doctors to administer anesthesia to a fetus during an abortion has cleared another hurdle.

Senate Bill 234, sponsored by Sen. Curt Bramble (R-Provo), passed a House committee late Tuesday, 7 to 4, and moved on to the full House of Representatives.

Bramble said there is "clear evidence" that an unborn child reacts to pain, and he said his bill would protect that child from it.

"I believe that we have a sacred fiduciary obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us," Bramble said. "We need to be a voice for the voiceless."

The bill, which would apply to abortions performed on fetuses which are at least 20 weeks along, does contain an exception to the requirement if the mother's health is in danger or if the fetus has a fatal defect.

Alexandra Eller, a medical professional opposed to the bill, testified there is no such evidence and said the bill would require physicians to give patients inaccurate information about an unborn child's pain in the womb.

A slight change was made to the bill at the request of the Utah Medical Association, clarifying that the child "may be" capable of experiencing pain instead of stating it as a certainty. Because of that change, if the bill passes the House, it will have to go back to the Senate for another vote.

The legislative session ends Thursday night.

Follow Daniel Woodruff on Twitter @danielmwoodruff for breaking news, updates and more.

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