Planned Parenthood files suit against Utah law that could close abortion facilities

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The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Monday against a Utah law that may close the state’s abortion facilities, asking a judge to place a preliminary injunction on the law while their suit proceeds.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed House Bill 467 in March. The law bans the licensing of new abortion facilities in the state and requires the closure of current facilities once their licenses expire, making hospitals the only facilities where women can legally access abortions. The abortion businesses have filed the suit on the grounds that the law violates the state constitution’s rights to privacy and bodily integrity.

According to Reuters, the case is before Judge Andrew Stone, who previously blocked the state’s “trigger law” protecting nearly all preborn children from abortion on the basis that a law presenting a “seismic change in women’s health treatment” should be put on pause while the lawsuit proceeds. Planned Parenthood is arguing that should HB 467 take effect on May 3, it would eliminate up to 95% of abortions in the state, and therefore Stone should place an injunction on it based on his previous conclusion.

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“As promised, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah is fighting back and doing everything in our power to make sure that Utahns can get the care they need to stay healthy,” Sarah Stoez, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said in a statement.

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee and Sen. Daniel McCay, who sponsored HB 467, released a joint statement following news of the lawsuit.

“As a state, we deeply value human life. It’s the state’s responsibility to protect the most vulnerable, and that includes the unborn,” they said. “We worked closely with area doctors and hospitals to ensure the statute strikes the best balance of protecting innocent life and protecting women who experience rare and dangerous complications during pregnancy. We look forward to reading and fully understanding the lawsuit’s claims and will vigorously defend statute.”

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