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Thousands gather at the State Capitol to support abortion

May 14, 2022, 7:18 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:34 pm

SALT LAKE  CITY – Thousands gathered at the Utah State Capitol on Saturday in support of abortion as Americans anticipate an official decision from the Supreme Court about a women’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

The Utah Highway Patrol told KSL-TV that more than 4,500 people attended the rally at the capital, while Pro-Choice rallies also took place in Ogden, Logan, and Park City.

“I wish my mom could have seen today’s turnout,” Jeri Briggs said about her mother. “I was in high school when Roe v. Wade was first enacted.  My mother always told me, ‘a woman should have a right to do what she pleases with her body.’  I am now very concerned for my 31-year-old daughter and her friends.”

The abortion rate has declined by nearly 40 percent since the mid-1990s, but the United States still has a higher unplanned pregnancy rate than many other developed countries.  Recent statistics also show that 75 percent of women seeking an abortion are below the poverty line.

“If you want to eliminate abortion, step forward and make some other laws that will help women carry their baby and make it possible for them to do that,” Bob Green-Eisen, who attended the rally, said.  “There is so much focus on abortion, but as soon as a baby takes its first breath, we don’t seem to care that there are not enough social services, there is no maternal care, and not enough paid maternity leave.  This is a revenue problem.”

Katie Schwab was on the steps of the Capitol.  She held a sign that read ‘Adopted and pro-choice and not your political pawn.’

“I think about how much I struggled with my identity throughout my life, who I belonged to, and if I even belonged here.  So from someone who lived through an adoption – it’s not of no consequence,” Katie Schwab said.  “A pregnancy happens between two people, but we’re only talking about further restricting one of those people. It feels like a way to oppress women, especially women of color.  This keeps white men in power.”

If Roe is overturned, Utah has a trigger law set to take precedence immediately 12 other states have similar Trigger Laws, and 26 are poised to immediately ban abortion if Roe is reversed.

Utah’s Trigger Law – Senate Bill 174 – would make nearly all abortions, at any stage, illegal.

“Removing abortion access will further criminalize our communities; particularly black, brown, indigenous, and the working-class folks,” Josh Kivlovitz said. “It’s important that we start doing the work today.  We need to build our communities up and put pressure on our officials to take a closer look at harmful systems like prisons and jails.  We need to invest in community support.”

A leak from earlier this month suggests the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the right to an abortion recognized nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade.

Politico reported that in addition to justice Clarence Thomas, conservative justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett had voted with the draft opinion’s author, Samuel Alito, to overrule Roe v. Wade and a 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that affirmed Roe’s finding of a constitutional right to abortion.

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Thousands gather at the State Capitol to support abortion