The Salt Lake City rally was one of 620 events scheduled to advocate for access to abortion after Texas lawmakers passed a controversial abortion law.
It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled in the Roe V. Wade case, which granted pregnant women the right to an abortion without undue government restrictions.
Yet ACLU Utah’s Niki Venugopal told a crowd of over 1,000 on Saturday, âWe continue to march and sue and demand our rights.
Most recently in Utah, the group, alongside Planned Parenthood, sued in 2019 after state lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after 18 weeks of gestation. A federal judge has put this law on hold as it makes its way through the courts.
âWhat if our Utah lawmakers try to pass other abortion restrictions, or something similar to what we’re seeing in Texas (which just passed the country’s toughest laws on abortion? abortion), we brought one of our lawyers here today to send this message, âsaid Venugopal, passing the microphone to her colleague Valentina De Fex.
De Fex took the microphone and said simply, “We’ll see you in court.”
The crowd erupted into cheers.
The group met outside Salt Lake City city hall on Saturday to send a message to lawmakers and the Supreme Court: that access to abortion is a basic right to health care.
The rally was one of more than 620 planned across the country, organizers said. This follows Texas’ decision to pass a law banning abortion as early as six weeks pregnant and allowing people to report and prosecute anyone who helps a pregnant person have an abortion after doctors detect heart activity.
The Department of Justice sued Texas. The case is pending.
The crowd grew from a few hundred on Saturday morning in front of Salt Lake City City Hall to more than a thousand as the group began their march down State Street to the Capitol.
Before the group left, the crowd heard from several speakers, including new Black Lives Matter frontman Rae Duckworth, who said reproductive rights impact all women – but the impact on black women is greater. pronounced.
According to family planning, âDue to systemic oppression, blacks face greater barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services than white Americans. As a result, black people experience some of the highest rates of cervical cancer, unwanted pregnancy, maternal mortality and sexually transmitted infections in the country.
As the crowd walked up the hill to the Capitol, they chanted âmy body, my choiceâ and âseparation of church and stateâ as they greeted passing motorists. Some drivers honked their horns.
A woman paraded in a red dress and white bonnet, like the handmaids in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”, carried a sign that read “Make Margaret Atwood fiction again”.
Another carried a pink notice board that read, âNo uterus. No opinion. “
A man wearing a disposable blue mask held a sign saying, âImagine if a group of women made laws governing men’s bodies. “
The rally ended at the Capitol after a mile-long hike on State Street and after several people spoke, including Democratic Representative Angela Romero, who told attendees that there is a small but strong group of Utah lawmakers determined to protect access to abortion in the state.
Ma Black, DJ at KRCL, took the mic shortly after and told the crowd that access to abortion and other reproductive rights had been fiercely fought for for racial and ethnic minority groups and women. people with lower socio-economic status. She said that many women have had choices made for them by the state regarding their reproductive health, such as forced sterilizations.
“Now is the time to raise your voice to push for change,” she said.
To pave the way for future generations of daughters, sisters and mothers.