UTAH

Utah lawmakers say AG should fight legal challenge to abortion ban

Nov 15, 2022, 5:23 PM
paid assistants utah lawmakers abortion ban...
House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, presides over the House during the 2022 session of the Utah Legislature at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. Photo Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers signaled their willingness to fight a legal challenge to an abortion ban in Utah Tuesday. 

Legislators gave approval Tuesday to the Utah Attorney General’s office to sign onto an amicus brief on behalf of the legislature. The brief will help lawmakers fight the current legal challenge against S.B. 174, Utah’s effective ban on abortion.

S.B. 174 became law in 2020. It was intended to take effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, giving states the option to determine the extent to which abortion is legal or illegal in each state.

S.B. 174 prohibits all elective abortions in Utah and provides exceptions only in cases involving rape, incest, or medical emergency. 

With its ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, returning the decision on abortion to the states. That action triggered S.B. 174, putting the law into effect. 

The next day, on June 25, 2022, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah filed a lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order against S.B. 174. 

In July 2022, a judge issued an injunction against S.B. 174, thus putting the law on hold until the lawsuit between Planned Parenthood and the state of Utah has been settled.

“Human life should be recognized and valued at all ages and stages,” said President J. Stuart Adams in a statement Tuesday. “Children deserve protection and the opportunity to live. My commitment to life does not end at birth. We are working to make adoption easier in Utah. By enhancing resources, we can eliminate barriers to adoption and provide financial support to expecting mothers. Together, we must work to protect and defend every life – mothers, children and families.”

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Utah lawmakers say AG should fight legal challenge to abortion ban