Utah's new anti-abortion legislation drew a wide variety of reaction from various groups around the state. The Rev. William K. Weigand, Catholic Bishop of Utah, issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

"The passage yesterday and today by the Utah State Legislature of new anti-abortion legislation and the expected signature by Gov. Bangerter gives me great joy. Unborn life is the most vulnerable and defenseless of human life. The unborn both need and deserve the protection of law."While our Catholic position, unlike Senate Bill 23, would exclude all abortions without exceptions, the new legislation may better withstand constitutional challenges at this time. It is certainly a step forward in restoring at least some measure of legal protection of the right to life for the unborn.

"Utahns should feel proud of the courage and moral conviction that their elected representatives have manifested in this matter. By this action, Utah becomes one of the foremost pro-life states. Our founders established a nation to guarantee certain inalienable rights - the first of these being life. Roe vs. Wade betrayed that legacy claiming to discover a right of one individual to choose death for another.

"Utah today tells the nation that we reflect our nation's broken promise of a new life. Besides being pro-life, Utahns in effect are saying that they favor choice - choice for the unborn. Utahns are insisting that the natural choice is life, not death. I, for one, am proud today to be a Utahn."