Women's access to contraception and abortion will be debated tonight, with the Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka and Planned Parenthood's Heather Stringfellow among those taking part.
The John R. Park Debate Society is hosting a group of speakers to address "Whose Choice? The Debate Over Women's Health" from 7 to 9 p.m. at the University of Utah's Social Work Auditorium (395 S 1500 East).
The focus of the debate is expected to include House Bill 461, which Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law in March 2012, making Utah the first state in the nation with a 72-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion. The thinking behind the bill, explained sponsor Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, was, "An abortion cannot be undone. ... Why would we not want to afford a woman facing a life-changing decision 72 hours to consider ramifications that could last a lifetime?"
Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Salt Lake City, will join Ruzicka and Stringfellow for the debate. She was the only house member to speak against the bill. "I think this is another example of government intrusion into the private, difficult decisions that adults have to make," she argued.