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Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban

June 25, 2022 GMT

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.

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.”

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.

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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.”