SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend bill that would clarify an exception to the required 72-hour waiting period for an abortion.

SB71 states an abortion can be performed without the mother's consent if two qualified physicians agree in writing the abortion is necessary to save the woman's life or keep her from severe bodily damage.

The exemption also applies to cases where the fetus wouldn't live outside of the womb.

Bill sponsor Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, said this applies to a "very limited" circumstance, and there are 60 to 100 such cases each year.

"As we've checked with our OB/GYNs across the state, they said this is really a concern for them," said Michelle McOmber of the Utah Medical Association. "This would be something for the patients themselves who really don't want this to happen anyway and they're in a lot of emotional distress."

— Madeleine Brown