Utah Supreme Court Hearing Could Allow State Abortion Ban to Save Babies

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 5, 2022   |   11:27AM   |   Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah could become the next state with an active abortion ban protecting the lives of unborn babies.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is fighting court to enforce the state’s trigger law, which will ban abortions and protect the lives of unborn babies.

As LifeNews previously reported, Utah was one of the first states to ban abortions following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 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 seeking to block the state’s abortion ban and a judge blocked it. Judge Andrew Stone sided with the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the ACLU of Utah during a hearing.

Now, Reyes is asking the Utah Supreme Court for permission to appeal a 3rd District Court judge’s decision that has prevented the pro-life law from saving babies.

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And the Utah Supreme Court has granted a petition from the Utah Attorney General’s Office to appeal the injunction of Utah’s abortion ban trigger law. The AG’s office argues that the district court “abused its discretion in preliminarily enjoining SB174″ and is requesting that the Utah Supreme Court reverse this decision.

If granted, the injunction would be overturned, and the elective abortion ban law would be in effect. This does not stop the underlying lawsuit from Planned Parenthood Association of Utah challenging the trigger law. But it does stop killing babies in abortions while the lawsuit continues.

Pro-Life Utah is thanking Reyes for fighting for unborn children.

“After 50 years, on June 24, 2022 Roe V. Wade was overturned. That very day, Utah’s trigger law went into effect, banning almost all elective abortions. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers immediately stopped killing babies.  We celebrated this victory alongside all pro-life Utah’ns,” it told LifeNews in an email.

“However, by Monday, June 27th, Planned Parenthood and the Utah ACLU had filed a lawsuit, and Judge Andrew Stone enjoined the trigger law. This meant that the law would not be in force while the lawsuit went through the court system. Since then, over 800 Utah babies have been killed by abortion due to one judge’s erroneous decision,” it added.

“The Utah Attorney General’s office has consistently worked to protect unborn babies.  They previously worked in support of the historic case that overturned Roe.  They are currently working hard to defend Utah’s abortion trigger law,” it said.

The petition says “the district court abused its discretion in preliminarily enjoining SB174” and the ruling “should be reversed on interlocutory appeal on this ground alone.”

Reyes says, “Today’s petition is a step in the process to challenge the preliminary injunction and will not resolve the merits of the trigger law case.”

His office is also refuting claims that the state constitution somehow protects a right to kill babies in abortions.

“But, like the U.S. Constitution, the state constitution says nothing about abortion. In fact, ‘such a right was entirely unknown in American law’ until the latter part of the 1900s … Nor is the alleged right otherwise ‘deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition,’” the petition states.

“The petition raises important questions about standing, preliminary injunction factors and constitutional interpretation that will affect the parties’ dispute and future cases. More importantly, SB174 involves compelling state interests: the protection and preservation of human life, existing and unborn. The state and the public need a definitive answer now, that only this court can provide, about whether SB174 is enforceable pending resolution of PPAU’s claims,” the 20-page petition states.

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. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.

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.”

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 and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.