- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 19, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah lawmaker wants to ban most abortions after 18 weeks of gestation, a change to a proposal that originally would have banned the procedure after 15 weeks.

Republican Rep. Cheryl Acton said Tuesday she made the change for “strategic reasons,” and to help the idea survive a court challenge that’s likely if it becomes law.

The Deseret News reports Acton says Utah is known as a pro-family state with the nation’s highest birth rate, and it should be known as the safest place in the country for the unborn.

The 18-week deadline brings the bill in line with a similar proposal in Arkansas.

The bill is set to be heard by a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday.

Opponents have warned the measure is likely unconstitutional and could embroil the state in a costly legal fight.

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