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Ralph Chamness
Chief
Civil Division

Lisa Ashman
Administrative
Operations


Jeffrey William Hall
Chief Deputy
Justice Division

Blake Nakamura
Chief Deputy
Justice Division

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2019
Contact Sim Gill

Statement of Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Order Entered Today in Planned Parenthood’s Legal Challenge to HB136, “Abortion Amendments” 

 

“We joined with Planned Parenthood to request that the federal district court enter an order memorializing the policy of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office declining to enforce HB136, which is unconstitutional on its face under controlling federal case law including from the United States Supreme Court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

 

In our participatory democracy the Legislature is certainly free to pass legislation indicating what the law should be, the duty of a public prosecutor is to enforce the law as it currently stands.  A Utah statute even less restrictive than this was already found unconstitutional over two decades ago.  We cannot simply ignore that because the state legislative body hopes for a different interpretation this time around.  

 

The United States Constitution must be carefully adhered to—especially where fundamental rights are at stake.  Residents of Salt Lake County deserve, and rightfully expect, that their fundamental rights will not compromised by governmental bodies, whether by threat of criminal sanction or otherwise.  Unless and until the United States Supreme Court weighs in with a contrary view of the scope of constitutional protection afforded to women, the DA’s Office will not enforce a law that is unconstitutional under existing precedent.”

 

-Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill 

Attachment:
Utah District Court Granting Order

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35 East 500 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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