Utah has become the 7th state to ban abortions following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. But the Planned Parenthood abortion business is fighting the effort to protect babies from being killed.
Late Friday, John L. Fellows, the general counsel for the Utah Legislature, authored a letter making it clear that the trigger law in Utah is now in effect and abortions are banned in the state — except in very rare cases such as rape or incest, when the baby is severely disabled or to prevent the death of the mother.
Utah S.B. 174, the Abortion Prohibition Amendments, was signed into law by Republican Gov. Gary Herbert in 2020 but only went into effect after the overturning of Roe.
A second law, the Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act signed by Herbert in 2019, will also fully go into effect as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision. It bans killing babies with Down syndrome in abortions.
But Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit Saturday seeking to block the state’s abortion ban. The abortion company claimed the abortion ban violates the state constitution and that the Utah Supreme Court “has made clear that state constitutional guarantees may be more expansive than those under federal law.”
The abortion chain wants a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief to prevent enforcement of the law.
“Although Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization … has revoked the right to previability abortions under the U.S. Constitution, the Utah Constitution serves as an independent source of rights for Utahns,” the suit said.
Planned Parenthood has stopped killing babies in Utah while its lawsuit against the ban continues, saying it had “no choice but to stop performing abortions” after the law took effect and that it canceled appointments on Saturday for about a dozen patients who had procedures scheduled.
Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th.
As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 5-4 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 to uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority.
“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”
Immediately after the decision, Texas abortion businesses announced they were closing and South Carolina announced it had asked a federal appeals court to uphold its abortion ban.
Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
This is a landmark day for the Pro-Life movement and our entire nation. After staining the moral fabric of our country for nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade is no more.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.