POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Judge grants request to pause Utah law preventing abortion services outside of hospitals

May 2, 2023, 4:26 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2023, 4:50 pm

utah abortion...

FILE: A sign is displayed at Planned Parenthood of Utah Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

(Rick Bowmer/AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has granted a request to pause Utah’s so called abortion “clinic ban.” The law would have banned abortions from being performed in clinics, instead requiring they be performed in hospitals. 

The law was set to take effect Wednesday. The decision means that abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood can still operate in Utah, for now. 

“This is a great day for the people of Utah,” Planned Parenthood’s interim CEO Sarah Stoez tells Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News.

“Up until about 45 minutes ago, we were preparing to call all the patients that were scheduled to be seen tomorrow and let them know that there appointments would be canceled, that their lives would be forever changed” she told Caplan. “But now they are all breathing a huge sigh of relief, as are we. Because, for now, women’s health is protected in Utah.”

Stoez says that for now, abortions can be performed at Utah Planned Parenthood clinics until there is a final ruling.

Law sponsor, Sen. Dan McCay (R-Salt Lake City), also telling Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News today’s ruling is only the first step in this lawsuit. 

“This is, like, step one of 1,000,” he tells Caplan. “I’m disappointed with this outcome. But, at the same time, I understand where the courts are trying to measure twice and cut once.”

The ruling today doesn’t decide the constitutionality of the new law. It decides whether the state of Utah puts this law on hold while the courts determine constitutionality.

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Judge grants request to pause Utah law preventing abortion services outside of hospitals