WASHINGTON: Utah 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone granted a request by Planned Parenthood of Utah on Monday for a temporary restraining order against a state law banning most abortions.
The temporary restraining order will allow abortions to continue to be performed as they were before the Supreme Court decision and will last for 14 days, according to Utah’s KSL News.
Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a joint lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah on Saturday seeking to block a Utah state law known as S. B. 174.
The law was passed in 2020 and is an example of an abortion “trigger” law intended to ban all abortions if and when the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision. The Supreme Court took that step on Friday.
The groups suing argue that the law violates the Utah Constitution, calling it “catastrophic” in their lawsuit.
Utah S. B. 174 bans abortions except in cases of rape, incest or severe fetal “brain abnormality” and excludes the removal of ectopic pregnancies or “a dead unborn child” from its definition of an abortion.
A person who performs an abortion under Utah’s new law could face up to 15 years in prison as well as significant fines, although women who seek abortions would not be convicted.
Stone approved Planned Parenthood’s request for an emergency hearing regarding the new law before fulfilling its request for a restraining order, Fox 13 Salt Lake City reported.
“The immediate effects that will occur outweigh any policy issues of the state,” Stone said, saying the state was unprepared for a significant change in abortion law.
A further injunction hearing has not yet been scheduled for Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit.
“Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight,” wrote Planned Parenthood Association of Utah President and CEO Karrie Galloway in response to Stone’s decision.