Utah Judge Blocks Abortion Ban for 14 Days After Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 27, 2022   |   6:07PM   |   Washington, DC

A Utah judge has blocked the state’s new abortion ban after the Planned Parenthood abortion business filed a lawsuit seeking to kill babies in abortions.

As LifeNews reported, Utah was one of the first states to ban abortions following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 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 and, this afternoon, a judge blocked it. Judge Andrew Stone sided with the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the ACLU of Utah during a hearing Monday afternoon.

As a local news outlet reports:

A judge has issued a temporary restraining order on Utah’s abortion trigger law. ABC4 is learning it is in place for 14 days and takes effect immediately.

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This is in the lawsuit between Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in Utah vs the state of Utah over the trigger law. This means elective abortions are once again allowed in Utah for the time being.

Planned Parenthood Association of Utah filed a lawsuit in Utah state court on Saturday in response to the ban, and will “soon request a temporary restraining order against the state’s ban on abortion at any point in pregnancy,” according to a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The state and pro-abortion attorneys are expected to be back in court July 11.

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.

Planned Parenthood had 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.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 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 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

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 and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. Today, Mississippi became the 10th.

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.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion.