The enthusiastic crowd — filled with young people, mostly women and girls — whooped and raised homemade signs with sayings such as Abortion saves lives, My body, my choice and Keep your laws out of my uterus.
States have passed 16 abortion restrictions or bans so far this year — including two in Utah. Several states have passed laws that, if upheld by courts, would essentially outlaw abortions entirely.
These bans are not about the unborn, Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said. These bans are about guilting women into submission.
Romero recounted how Republican colleagues during discussion of Utahs bans on aborting a fetus after 18 weeks or solely because of a Down syndrome diagnosis used dehumanizing language. One said a womb is not a tomb, she said. Another compared the time a woman would be allowed to obtain an abortion under the 18-week law to an NFL season.
Stop the Bans rallies held in Philadelphia, across U.S.
The lawmakers pushing these restrictions are pro-birth; theyre not pro-life, she said, pointing to the lack of child care for working women and the lack of access to health care.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar at #StopTheBans rally: “And no matter peoples views, I think they can agree on one thing- we want to reduce abortions. How do you do that? By making contraception available and certainly you dont take away the civil rights of Americans.” pic.twitter.com/Wncsspvw1v
Katie Matheson, of the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, said state lawmakers often like to tout innovative approaches to problems as the Utah way.
But telling a woman she is not in control of her body is not the Utah way, Matheson said, denouncing the states abortion bills as political, manipulative and fear-based.
.@SenBooker: To all the men who are here, we MUST wake up more men to join this fight. NOT just because we have daughters and mothers and wives. But because this is an assault on human dignity, on freedom. ?????? #StopTheBans pic.twitter.com/xuVD8k8av4
Deanna Holland, carrying signs saying Fetus = baby and Love them both attended the rally as a representative of Pro-Life Utah.
This has prompted paroxysms of rage from the media and the political left – the same folks who celebrated when New York passed a law effectively allowing abortion up until point of birth and who defended Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s perverse statements about late-term abortion. According to these thinkers, conservatives have encroached on a supposed “right to abortion” inherent in the Constitution.
Dissenting opinions were not welcome, she said afterward. I pretty much spent the time trying to walk away from conflict and to let my signs be seen.
My problem with these types of events is the other life in the equation is ignored, Holland said. Theyre pushing the rhetoric that just the woman matters, so it dehumanizes that unborn child to the point its difficult to find common ground.
Off to the side of the speakers microphone Tuesday, stood two women dressed as characters from The Handmaids Tale, in red robes and white cowls. One held a sign saying, I am not your incubator.
Saundra Stokes. director of community engagement for Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, urged rally attendees to stay active in the movement, to contact their lawmakers and to vote.
The Utah “Stop the Bans” rally was one of more than 400 demonstrations organized nationwide in opposition to laws passed in state legislatures across the country since January.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday took no action on appeals seeking to revive two restrictive Republican-backed abortion laws from Indiana, even as debate rages over a new measure in Alabama that would prohibit the procedure almost entirely.
Elizabeth Miller, a Salt Lake City resident, said she decided to organize the rally after seeing social media posts over the weekend calling for “Stop the Bans” protests.
Neither Indiana case was on the list of appeals on which the court acted on Monday morning. The court could next announce whether or not it will hear the cases on May 28.
If the nine-justice court takes up either case, it would give the conservative majority an opportunity to chip away at the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and recognized a right under the U.S. Constitution for women to terminate pregnancies.
One of the Indiana laws requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated and bans abortions performed because of fetal disability or the sex or race of the fetus. The other law requires women to undergo an ultrasound examination at least 18 hours before they undergo an abortion.
Both Indiana measures were signed into law in 2016 by Vice President Mike Pence when he was Indianas governor and were struck down by federal judges the following year. The state of Indiana is appealing to the Supreme Court.
Video: Pete Buttigieg attends abortion rights protest at US Supreme Court
The Alabama law was signed by Republican Governor Kay Ivey last week but is not set to go into effect for six months. It would outlaw almost all abortions, including in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Exceptions would be allowed only to protect the mothers health. Doctors who perform abortions could face up to 99 years in prison.
The Alabama law was written with the assumption that it would face legal challenges and could ultimately end up at the high court.
Conservative activists have long denounced the Roe v. Wade decision and hope that the conservative Supreme Court justices, who hold a 5-4 majority, will undermine or even overturn it.
Their chances of success were given a boost last year by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had backed abortion rights in two key cases. Kennedy was replaced by President Donald Trumps conservative appointee Brett Kavanaugh, who has a thin record on abortion.
Legislation to restrict abortion rights has been introduced this year in 16 states. Four governors have signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.
Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, who has voted against abortion rights in previous cases, are seen by legal experts as the key votes to watch.
The high court has two other abortion cases on its docket that it will also act on in the coming months – attempts by Alabama and Louisiana to revive other previously blocked abortion restrictions.