Utah abortion clinic ban blocked from going into effect at last minute

Salt Lake City, Utah - Reproductive justice advocates celebrated after an abortion clinic ban in Utah was blocked from taking effect as scheduled on Wednesday.

Demonstrators protest efforts to restrict abortion access at the State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Demonstrators protest efforts to restrict abortion access at the State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.  © Natalie Behring / AFP

Utah's Third District Court Judge Andrew Stone on Tuesday stepped in to prevent HB 467 from going into effect to allow himself more time to consider a lawsuit filed by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.

The legislation would have allowed abortions only in hospitals and some satellite clinics, facilities that currently provide only a tiny percentage of abortions in the state.

The plaintiffs argued in their suit that the law would "functionally eliminate" abortion care, which is still allowed in Utah up to 18 weeks of pregnancy.

Joke of the Day for April 11, 2024: Get your funny on
Joke of the Day Joke of the Day for April 11, 2024: Get your funny on

Utah already had the 18-week trigger ban on the books when the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, as well as a near-total ban regardless of trimester passed in 2020.

The 2020 legislation has not gone into effect after Stone delayed its implementation amid pending legal challenges.

Stone indicated in his latest ruling that he agrees with Planned Parenthood that the state's newest law treats abortion clinics differently from other clinics "without any reasonable objective."

Cover photo: Natalie Behring / AFP

More on Abortion Rights: