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Kristin Murphy, KSL

Judge allows legal challenge to Utah 18-week abortion ban to move ahead

By Dennis Romboy, KSL | Posted - Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:41 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge Tuesday lifted a stay on Planned Parenthood of Utah’s lawsuit against the state over a new law banning abortions beginning at 18 weeks of pregnancy.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups asked the two sides to draft a schedule for the case to proceed by July 21. Waddoups put the legal challenge on hold pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Louisiana abortion case. The court ruled in that case June 29.

Planned Parenthood sued the state over the law last year, arguing the ban is unconstitutional and that no fetus is viable at 18 weeks. Waddoups previously issued an injunction stopping the law from taking effect during the litigation.

While the law shortens the legal abortion window, it maintains a woman’s right to have an elective abortion, allowing exceptions for rape, incest, life or permanent impairment of the mother, and fatal fetal defects or severe brain abnormality.

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