- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Senate approved a change in the state’s abortion laws so that women whose lives are at risk can undergo the procedure without first having to watch a state-mandated video on alternatives and read information about adoption.

Sen. Wayne Harper said the measure that unanimously passed the chamber Friday is a narrow exception that may affect 60 to 100 women a year.

“It is the compassionate thing to do, the right thing to do,” the Taylorsville Republican said.

The bill would waive the video requirement when an “abortion is necessary to avert the woman’s death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” or when two doctors agree that a fetus has a fatal defect.

“We need to make sure those doctors can act readily without fear, and we need to give comfort to that family and that mother,” said Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley.

The bill had support from a doctor in the Senate.

“The last thing we need in a life-threatening situation is to have our hands tied and make the patient feel emotionally worse to watch a mandatory video,” said Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights.

The measure passed the Senate on a vote of 25-0 and now awaits consideration in the House.