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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

Utah imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.  

Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided

Utah places medically unnecessary restrictions on where abortion services may be provided.

All facilities including physician's offices that provide first-trimester abortion services must be licensed as "type I abortion clinics;" all facilities that provide abortion care after the first trimester must be licensed as "type II abortion clinics." Both classes of facilities are subject to unique administrative, professional-qualification, patient and employee testing, and physical-plant requirements.

All clinics are subject to inspection at least twice a year with one of the inspections being conducted without advance notice. The regulations make no reference to patient privacy or confidentiality. Utah Code Ann. §§ 26-21-2(1) (Enacted 1981; Last Amended 2011) 26-21- 2(23), 26-21-2(24), 26-21-6.5, 76-7-313 (Enacted 1981); Utah Admin. Code R432-600.

Each abortion provider must be located within 15 or fewer minutes of a full-service hospital, with which the clinic must have a written transfer agreement and admitting privileges for the clinic medical director or attending physician. Utah Admin. Code R432-600-13.  Nothing requires hospitals to grant such privileges or agree to such an agreement, nor is an exception made for rural areas.

In addition to physical-plant requirements dictating various room sizes and prescribing the type of lighting used in the storerooms, hallways, and laundry areas, Utah's regulations incorporate into law several chapters of a book of exhaustive guidelines for construction of new health-care facilities.  Utah Admin. Code R432-600-29, R432-600-5(2).  These guidelines include many requirements that are not related to patient care such as:  specifications for the type of fabric used on window coverings, requisite ceiling heights for the boiler room, and a mandate that a provider have four parking spaces per procedure room. Guidelines, Facility Guidelines Inst., 2010 ed. §§ 3.1, 3.2.

All doctors who renew a medical license in the state must indicate on their renewal application whether they provide abortion services at a location other than a hospital and identify the facilities where they provide such services. Utah Code Ann. §§ 58-67-304(3), 58-68-304 (3).  

Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services

Utah prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.

Only a physician licensed by the state to practice medicine may provide abortion care. Utah Code Ann. §§ 76-7-302(1) (Original Statute Enacted 1973; Repealed and Reenacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1991; Last Amended 2009).

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