Judge Andrew Stone of the Third Judicial District Court of the State of Utah Monday temporarily enjoined the Criminal Abortion Ban Act, allowing Planned Parenthood to pursue its lawsuit against the state. The temporary restraining order will last until Planned Parenthood has a chance to present the merits of its case.
Stone commented, “[w]hen you’re talking about a seismic change in women’s health, it’s prudent to look before you leap.” Stone said this is a very complex case that needs to be “litigated fully” but acknowledged that the people who passed the act want to make “radical change” and have “deep feelings” about the issue.
The abortion ban was enacted on June 24, the same day Roe v. Wade was overturned. Planned Parenthood filed its lawsuit challenging the act on June 25. The organization argues that the act violates Utah’s equal rights amendment, due process bodily autonomy, the right to determine family composition and the prohibition of involuntary servitude.
The Criminal Abortion Ban prevents abortions at any point with only a few constrained exceptions. The act states that abortions are only permissible in cases of rape or incest that are reported to law enforcement, if the pregnant person’s life is at risk or if the fetus has lethal defects or brain abnormalities. The act also states that anyone who violates the act faces a second degree felony.