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Lawsuit filed over Utah law closing abortion clinics

Posted at 1:01 PM, Apr 03, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the state's new law that requires abortion clinics to close later this year.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court, challenges House Bill 467. The law allows abortions up to 18-weeks of a pregnancy in the case of rape, incest or the health and safety of the mother to be performed only in hospitals and medical clinics.

"This is a very cruel law and it bans women from seeking care at licensed health centers like Planned Parenthoods where we will no longer be able to provide safe, legal abortion services," said Sarah Stoesz, the interim president of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

The plaintiffs are asking a judge for an injunction blocking HB467 from being enforced. Currently, the state's near-total abortion ban is blocked from being enforced while a separate lawsuit is under appeal to the Utah Supreme Court.

"Over 95% of the abortions in Utah are performed in licensed abortion clinics like Planned Parenthoods, this clinic ban is effectively an abortion ban," said Hannah Swanson, an attorney representing Planned Parenthood. "And if it takes effect on May 3, it will have the effect of functionally banning abortion in the state."

A spokesperson for Governor Spencer Cox's office declined to comment on the litigation to FOX 13 News on Monday.

While the new law targets abortion clinics, it will not close Planned Parenthood clinic doors. Stoesz told reporters the group offers other services.

"We have every intention of keeping our doors open for the full range of reproductive and sexual health care that people need aside from abortion," she said.

Read Planned Parenthood and the ACLU's motion for an injunction here: