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Judge temporarily blocks Utah’s abortion trigger law for 14 days

Planned Parenthood of Utah, Salt Lake City office, May 12, 2022
Brian Albers
/
KUER
The Planned Parenthood location at 654 S 900 E in Salt Lake City, May 12, 2022.

On Monday, 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone granted a temporary restraining order to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, blocking the state’s ban on nearly all abortions.

That’s after the health care organization and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah filed a lawsuit challenging SB 174, which took effect shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The complaint contends the law violates the state constitution.

The order only lasts for 14 days.

“We’re grateful for this temporary restraining order that will allow abortion services to resume in Utah,” said Planned Parenthood of Utah president and CEO Karrie Galloway in a statement. “The Supreme Court ruling was devastating and terrifying for our patients and providers, but at least for now, Utahns will be able to get the care they need.”

Galloway added that “today is a win” but only a temporary one in a long struggle.

The trigger law was passed in 2020 and went into effect last Friday evening hours after the Legislature’s general counsel reviewed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood said the state constitution serves as an independent source of rights for Utah residents.

In a statement responding to the order, state Sen. Dan McCay, the original Republican sponsor of SB 174, said it was “disappointing that a law meant to protect the most vulnerable, the unborn, is delayed by one judge with no support in the law. I’m confident that Utah’s abortion ban will be upheld, and we can work to support life.”

Utah wasn’t the only legal battleground following the monumental fall of Roe v. Wade.

Much of Monday's court activity on abortion focused on other states’ “trigger laws.” A judge in Louisiana also ordered a block to keep the trigger law there from going into effect. In Florida, abortion rights advocates asked a judge to block a law that will ban abortions after 15 weeks with some exceptions. Meanwhile, a regional Planned Parenthood organization in Idaho is suing over its trigger law, saying it violates the state constitution and that it is so vague that physicians won't know when they can legally help patients facing medical emergencies.

Updated: June 27, 2022 at 5:30 PM MDT
Added a statement provided by Republican state Sen. Dan McCay.
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