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Activists on both sides react to Utah's abortion 'trigger law' remaining on hold

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 00:17:13-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's abortion "trigger law" will remain on hold after a preliminary injunction was granted by Utah's 3rd District Court Judge Andrew Stone on Monday, at the request of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Utah.

After Judge Stone's decision, Karrie Galloway, the CEO of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said they were grateful — even going as far as saying some may feel Independence Day came a week late.

"Regardless of your gender, your sex, your religion, he spoke to everyone has a right to their own decisions," said Galloway.

She went on to say the decision was a good day for the state of Utah.

"To hear the breath of fresh air, so that the people of Utah understand our constitution, what it means to all of us, and specifically the right to determine your own pregnancy," she said.

The preliminary injunction comes after Judge Stone had previously granted a temporary 2-week restraining order on the ban.

"He did not once indicate or that he even considered the rights of the unborn, the right to life," said Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, Utah District 14.

Lisonbee was the House sponsor for Utah's trigger law bill, which was passed in 2020. It prohibits all elective abortions in the Beehive State, except in rare circumstances involving rape, incest or medical emergency.

It was contingent on Roe v. Wade being overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I think it's interesting, right — the Dobbs case indicates that this is really a states issue, and we agree, and so as a state, we decided what our policy would be if the high court overturned Roe, which was a wrongful decision in the first place," said Lisonbee.

She said she anticipated some pushback from the trigger law, but she thought there would be a more reasoned approach in the courts.

"We have the 18-week ban that is enacted right now, we have the Down Syndrome, nondiscrimination abortion rights, so we are protecting life as much as we can," said Lisonbee.

As for abortion-rights advocates, while they are happy with the victory in court today, they say the fight doesn't stop here.

"We are putting all of our energy into this case of challenging the trigger law in Utah," said Galloway.

Planned Parenthood said they've been keeping in touch with everyone who has been seeking abortion services. This comes as they continue to navigate the uncertainty since the Supreme Court's decision on June 24.

Lisonbee told FOX 13 News on Monday that she anticipates an appeal to Judge Stone's decision will take place at a higher court, and the Utah Attorney General's Office has confirmed that it intends to do so.