AP

Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban

Jun 25, 2022, 6:38 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2022, 6:04 am
A sign hangs in the offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America(Photo by Mario Tama/Get...
A sign hangs in the offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Planned Parenthood of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah have filed a lawsuit over a state law banning nearly all abortions, contending it violates the state constitution.

“Planned Parenthood had realized that since the December hearing where the Mississippi case was argued in the Supreme Court that the ruling wasn’t going the way we wanted to,” said Karrie Calloway, President of Planned Parenthood of Utah.

The organizations filed the lawsuit over Utah’s trigger law in state court on Saturday. The trigger law, passed in 2020, automatically went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade on Friday.

In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood says the law violates the Utah Constitution, which “serves as an independent source of rights for Utahns.”

Before the trigger law, Utah’s laws stated that women who wanted an abortion had to wait at least a week and go through various processes to get one.

“Most of these people have been waiting a week, 10 days, so when a ruling came down yesterday, we were able to meet the needs of people,” Calloway explained.

However, when Utah’s trigger law went into effect — that changed for future patients.

“But today, we have thirteen people who were told they were no longer at body autonomy. They didn’t get to make their own decisions about their pregnancy. They were forced to be mothers by the politicians of Utah,” Calloway said.

The law bans abortions except to avert death or irreversible impairment to the pregnant person. Utah’s law also allows abortions in some cases where the fetus has a “severe brain abnormality” or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, if a doctor has verified the incident was reported to police.

Under the law, anyone found guilty of performing an abortion could face up to 15 years in prison.

“If left in place, the Criminal Abortion Ban will be catastrophic for Utahns,” Planned Parenthood and the ACLU wrote in the lawsuit. “The Act will force some Utahns seeking abortion to instead carry pregnancies to term against their will, with all of the physical, emotional, and financial costs that entails.”

Calloway expressed that the trigger law also takes away half of the state’s population’s right to choice and body autonomy.

“What has happened since the trigger law was certified last evening is that women and people who get pregnant could no longer decide for themselves what they do for their bodies. We are forced into motherhood.”

KSL TV’s Michael Houck contributed to this article. 

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Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban