Utah abortion ban could take effect if lawmakers change a procedural rule

Jan 12, 2023, 10:14 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 3:58 pm

A Utah lawmaker will propose a rule change that would amend Utah's Rules of Civil Procedure, the gu...

FILE: The reflecting pool at the Utah State Capitol. A proposal from Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Pleasant Grove, would tweak rule 65A, which outlines that attorneys must prove a set of specific rules to get an injunction issued. (Paul Nelson)

(Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker will propose a rule change that would amend Utah’s Rules of Civil Procedure, the guidelines that determine when a judge can issue an injunction.

If the rule change to Utah’s Rules of Civil Procedure passes, a near-total ban on abortion in Utah could go into effect.

The proposal from Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Pleasant Grove, would tweak rule 65A. It outlines that attorneys must prove a set of specific rules to get an injunction issued.

The rule currently states that attorneys must prove a judge can issue an injunction when the case is likely to prevail at trial or that it “presents serious issues on the merits which should be the subject of further litigation.” 

The proposed text strikes the existing line that allows for the injunction to be granted on the “serious issues on the merits” and adds that injunctions could only be issued in Utah if there is a “substantial likelihood” that the case will win at trial.

In the screenshot below, the red highlighted lines would be stricken and the yellow are the proposed text to be added.

“It used to be an either/or,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas. “The ‘public importance’ part has been stricken … effectively making it much more difficult to get a preliminary injunction.”

The change would apply to injunctions retroactively.

“It’s very rare that the legislature would pass a law ex post facto, or retroactive,” said Skordas. 

In a text to KSL NewsRadio, Brammer argued that “HJR2 brings our state rule on injunctions in line with the federal rule to increase the consistent application of the law,” he said.

When asked why the proposed change needed to happen retroactively, Brammer responded that was his only comment.

If this resolution passes, Skordas says Planned Parenthood of Utah — which filed the suit against the abortion ban and was granted an injunction — would have to go back and prove their case could win at trial for the abortion law to stay on hold, something that will likely take more time and resources.

In his ruling, Judge Andrew Stone issued the injunction stating that Planned Parenthood  demonstrated “serious issues on the merits that should be the subject of further litigation.”

Resolutions follow the same process as bills as to whether they will be heard by the full body. The rules committee must assign Brammer’s resolution to a committee and that committee would have to approve it before it’s heard by the full House.

Our previous coverage:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

In this image from Senate Television, the final vote of 63-36 shows passage of the bill to raise th...

Lisa Mascaro, Kevin Freking, Stephen Groves, Farnoush Amiri and Mary Clare Jalonick

Just days to spare, Senate gives final approval to debt ceiling deal, sending it to Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fending off a U.S. default, the Senate gave final approval late Thursday to a debt ceiling and budget cuts package, grinding into the night to wrap up work on the bipartisan deal and send it to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law before the fast-approaching deadline. The compromise package negotiated between Biden […]

1 day ago

Rep. Burgess Owens, Rep. Blake Moore, Rep. Chris Stewart and Sen. Mike Lee at the Awaken Event Cent...

Suzanne Bates, Deseret News

Here’s how Utah’s 4 congressmen voted on the debt ceiling bill

SALT LAKE CITY — All four of Utah’s Republican congressmen voted in favor of the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Wednesday night, sending the debt ceiling deal to the Senate. Earlier in the day, their fellow Utah Republican, Sen. Mike Lee, spoke against the bill on the Senate floor, calling it a “bad deal for America.” Utah’s congressmen touted the […]

1 day ago

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a hearing on Capitol Hill on April 27 in Washington....

Sara Murray, Alayna Treene, Zachary Cohen, Evan Perez

FBI director speaks with congressional Republicans about Biden document dispute

Republicans believe documents will shed light on an allegation that then-Vice President Joe Biden was involved in a criminal scheme with a foreign national.

1 day ago

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, announced Wednesday that he is resigning his seat in the U.S. House ove...

Lindsay Aerts

Candidates starting to line up as potential replacement for Rep. Stewart

Democrats are starting to emerge as potential replacements for Rep. Chris Stewart, who announced his resignation on Wednesday.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy speaks to reporters as he walks through Statuary Hall in the U....

Clare Foran, Kristin Wilson and Haley Talbot

House passes debt limit deal as lawmakers race to avert default

Lawmakers are racing the clock to avert a first-ever default ahead of June 5, a critical date set by the Treasury Department.

2 days ago

Utah Sen. Mike Lee says he will vote no on the debt ceiling agreement....

Mark Jones

Sen. Lee says he will vote no on debt ceiling agreement

Sen. Mike Lee says he has some amendments he would like to introduce to the debt ceiling agreement to make it better. As it stands now, Lee says he plans to vote no on the deal.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Utah abortion ban could take effect if lawmakers change a procedural rule