Planned Parenthood hopes to return to court soon to challenge a Utah law that protects unborn babies from abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy.
KLS Broadcasting reports a federal judge temporarily halted the abortion chain’s lawsuit in December to wait for a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on another abortion case.
The high court released its decision on the Louisiana abortion law in June, and it was not good news for the safety of women and unborn babies. Among other issues, the Supreme Court ruled that the abortion industry can sue as a third party on behalf of its patients – even to challenge laws that are meant to protect patients from unsafe abortion facilities.
On Monday, the Planned Parenthood abortion chain asked U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups to allow its case in Utah to proceed, citing the Louisiana ruling, according to the local news.
The abortion group is challenging a 2019 Utah law that prohibits abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy. Waddoups temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law last year, but Planned Parenthood wants a final ruling that will declare the law unconstitutional.
According to the report:
Planned Parenthood cites opinions of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer in the Louisiana case to claim standing in the Utah case.
Breyer concluded both that the state had waived its third-party standing challenge and that the plaintiffs had third-party standing “under a long line of well-established precedents.” Roberts agreed that abortion providers have standing to assert the constitutional rights of their patients
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“As this court recognized in its stay order, if June Medical Services does not change existing law, then ‘plaintiff has prudential standing’ and the case should proceed,” according to lawyers for Planned Parenthood.
Many states have abortion bans that protect unborn children after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Under Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to allow states to ban abortions prior to viability.
A few states are trying to challenge the precedent by passing abortion bans at 15 or 18 weeks. Arkansas passed a similar law in 2019. Other states are pursuing heartbeat bills to ban abortions as early as six weeks.
It is unclear if the legislation would be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Though there is a 5-4 conservative-appointed majority, Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the abortion industry on several occasions, claiming he supports legal precedent on the matter.