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Utah legislators tell abortion providers to cease and desist

The Utah state legislature
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State legislators sent the letter to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and Wasatch Women’s Center.

A coalition of Utah legislators sent cease-and-desist letters to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and Wasatch Women’s Center calling for them to comply with Utah’s trigger ban on elective abortions that went into effect on June 24 this year, following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

These abortion providers had been continuing abortion services following a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction issued by Judge Andrew Stone that prevented state officials from initiating criminal prosecutions under the ban until legal challenges in the Utah Court system are addressed.

The legislators point out that while the ban has been temporarily halted pending legal challenges, should it go into effect, anyone who performs or assists an abortion is liable for criminal felony charges “punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment per abortion,” even if the services were performed while the injunction was in place. The trigger ban does outline some limited exceptions for circumstances of rape, incest, the life of the mother, and severe fetal deformities.

In their statement, legislators are also committing to propose legislation to automatically revoke the medical license of any medical professional who violates the trigger ban and to empower the Attorney General of Utah and Utah district attorneys to prosecute violations of the ban, even if the local district attorney does not pursue charges.