UTAH (ABC4) – After a Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah filed a lawsuit in Utah state court on Saturday, 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 lawsuit is a response to the state’s trigger ban, which outlaws abortion at any point in pregnancy in Utah and criminalizes providers. The trigger ban law was passed as Senate Bill 174 by the Utah state legislature in 2020, and went into effect Friday.
The lawsuit reportedly asserts that the Utah Constitution protects the rights of pregnant women to make decisions regarding abortion, and to determine what happens with their own bodies.
The ACLU states that the lawsuit “makes clear that the rights promised under the Utah Constitution are more expansive than those under federal law,” and “remain unaffected” by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision.
It’s noted in the lawsuit that without emergency relief from the court, “at least 55 Utahns” will not be able to get the abortion care they need in Utah this week.
“Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated a federal constitutional right. In one terrible moment, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and Utahns’ power to control their own bodies, lives, and personal medical decisions was threatened,” said Karrie Galloway, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. “Yesterday’s decision was devastating, but Planned Parenthood will never stop standing with and fighting for the rights of our patients and providers. Not now, not ever.”
If the trigger ban is to remain in effect, ACLU says that thousands of Utahns will be forced to either carry an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy to term or travel out of state to obtain abortion care.
The law “includes only narrow exceptions,” the ACLU states, and its exception for sexual assault survivors reportedly forces the disclosure of patients’ personal information to law enforcement as a condition of care.
The ACLU states that in addition to banning abortion, the law would also “criminalize health care providers,” threatening arrest and criminal fines for providing abortion care.