Utah Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions Garners Planned Parenthood Suit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Utah Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions Garners Planned Parenthood Suit

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 4, 2004

Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — As abortion advocates have done in almost every state that has adopted a ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure, they filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking to overturn a new pro-life Utah law.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the Utah Women’s Clinic, an abortion business, and the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, saws the law suffers from the same "constitutional flaws" as a similar Nebraska ban.

The Supreme Court struck down that state’s ban in 2000 saying that it lacked a health exception, despite evidence that such abortions are never needed to protect a woman’s health.

"We are asking for an injunction until three challenges to a mirror federal ban make it through the courts," said Karrie Galloway, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Utah, told the Associated Press. "We can’t let a law that’s enjoined nationally go into effect here."

The national Planned Parenthood abortion business, along with other abortion businesses and abortion practitioners have filed three separate federal lawsuits against the Congressional ban on partial-birth abortions signed into law by President Bush.

The San Francisco hearings have been completed and trials in Nebraska and New York are continuing. Decisions in those cases are expected in late summer.

The Utah lawsuit also claims the definition of the partial-birth abortion procedure is so broad that other abortion methods could be prohibited as well. Judge Paul Cassell has been assigned the case.

Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, sponsor of the pro-life measure in the state legislature, told AP that the lawsuit didn’t surprise him. He said he hopes the state’s attorney general will vigorously defend the law.

A representative of Gov. Olene Walker said he will defend the law. "The governor signed the bill because it upholds the sanctity of life," Walker’s spokeswoman Amanda Covington told the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.

According to the Utah Health Department, approximately 3,300 abortions are performed in the state annually. Most of the abortions occurred at Utah Women’s Clinic, which also advertises abortions in surrounding states.