The Sanctity of Life
by Representative Dan Johnson
I want you to know how much I value my life-long membership in the Republican Party, and I am honored to serve the constituents of House District 4, Cache Valley, and the state of Utah. I have come to know that there has not been a time more important than right now for all of us to stand up for the principles and core values we believe in.
I wonder if you feel as I do that in our state and nation, we are ever pressed by the opposition to turn away from these time-honored beliefs. One of those is the protection of the sanctity of life. As Republicans know, sanctity of life is closely tied to the family. Every person, from conception to natural death, possesses inherent dignity and immeasurable worth, including preborn children, elderly individuals, those with special needs and others marginalized by society. We are, then, called to defend, protect, and value all human life.
The Cache Republican Party’s platform sets out important belief statements that reinforce the sanctity of life. It states in part the following:
“The family is the fundamental institution and strength of our society. We support legislation which recognizes the rights and the responsibilities of parents for their minor children. We believe in the right to life for both the born and unborn, and we strongly oppose legalizing abortion except to preserve the life or health of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.”
The ethic we adhere to in our belief about the sanctity of life is captured in a quote by Alexander Scholzenitsyn when he observed: “It’s time to remember that the first thing we all belong to is humanity.” Governor Herbert gave his State of the State address to the House of Representatives and Senate on the evening of January 31, 2019. The Governor supported this concept about the sanctity of life as he noted, “We can and we should do more to protect the nameless, the outcast, and the vulnerable.”
Action has been taken. Representative Cheryl Acton sponsored House Bill 136 in our most recent legislative session, and it was passed in the House and Senate. It is important to note that all your legislators in Northern Utah voted in favor of the bill. The bill reduces the number of weeks for a legal abortion in Utah from 22 weeks (Roe 1976) to 18 weeks. “HB136 preserves in code all of the exceptions allowing abortion after 18 weeks (briefly: life of the mother, permanent impairment of the mother, rape, incest, and fatal fetal defect), while adding one additional exception for a severe brain abnormality that is uniformly diagnosable and would cause the unborn child to live in a mentally vegetative state. “Severe brain abnormality” does not include: Down syndrome; spina bifida;or any other malformation, defect, or condition that does not cause an individual to live in a mentally vegetative state.” (Acton, 2019)
In 2017 Utah had 2,973 abortions. The total for the US in 2017 is estimated at 881,000. The total number of abortions worldwide in 2014 is estimated at 56 million. (Guttmacher Institute). If we compare the total US deaths in war with abortion in the United States, we learn that 1,431,086 died defending our country and 46,000,000+ died defenseless since Roe.

Let’s do the right thing. I encourage Republicans everywhere to stand up for the sanctify of life. Do whatever you can to protect our God given unalienable rights…the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      Dan Johnson, Utah House District 4 Representative