Abortion restrictions, changes to ballot initiatives among topics as Utah Legislature convenes for 2019 session

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Legislature will begin the 2019 session Monday, and lawmakers will discuss hundreds of bills in the next several weeks.

This is the 63rd General Session of the Legislature, and it will end on March 14.

Several controversial bills are in the works this year, including a measure from Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, that would ban abortions after 15 weeks, or the first trimester.

Acton said her legislation would keep existing exemptions to abortion restrictions already in place in Utah. The bill is already facing threats of lawsuits. 

Rep. Merrill Nelson, R- Grantsville, is proposing a bill to narrowly define a person's sex at birth and prevent birth certificates from being amended. Equality Utah, an LGBT rights group, says the bill is an effort to legally erase transgender Utahns. 

The legislature is also looking at changes to Proposition 3, the ballot initiative Utah voters supported to expand Medicaid.

Senator Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi, is working toward a bill that would entirely repeal the ballot initiative.

Another measure sponsored by Senator Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, would set caps on spending and seek federal waivers.

Protests in response to efforts to modify Medicaid expansion are planned for Monday at Capitol Hill.

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