SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – On Saturday, hundreds of people marched for women’s reproductive rights in Salt Lake City. The march takes place annually, however, this year it is held in response to the recent Texas abortion ban.
Guest speakers were present at the event, including Utah State Representative Angela Romero, Black Lives Matter Utah President Rae Duckworth and ACLU Representatives Nikila Venugopal and Valentina De Fex.
The women of Utah gathered in Washington Square Park on Saturday, October 2 and planned to challenge lawmakers to protect women’s right to choose. The march began at Washington Square Park in downtown Salt Lake City and ended at the Utah State Capitol.
“We have formed a petition that we will send to our governor,” march organizer Selina Holmes told ABC4. “We will not stand that any of our rights are not taken away.”
The march was sponsored by Planned Parenthood, Utah ERA Coalition, League of Women Voters of Utah, Equality Utah and the Women’s Democratic Club of Utah.
The Texas abortion ban, called Senate Bill 8 prohibits abortions once heart activity is detected in the fetus, which is usually around six weeks. It’s a while before most women know they are pregnant. The law went into effect on September 1 and has had lasting effects on abortion providers in Texas, forcing women to travel to neighboring states for abortions.
In Utah, the law allows abortions in cases of rape or incest, but not in other circumstances. It forces women to wait 72 hours before the procedure and after an informed consent session. Utah, along with 11 other states, has joined with Mississippi in asking the Supreme Court and its mostly Tory judges to overturn Roe v. Wade. Opponents of abortion praised the Texas law.
“Absolutely thrilled with this decision,” said Merrilee Boyack, president of the No Abortion Coalition for Utah, after the Texas decision. She also said that people are starting to change their minds when it comes to unborn children.
âPeople are realizing that these babies are real human beings,â Boyack said. “We see them younger and younger [and] I think this law honors that.
Meanwhile, others disagree with Texas’ decision.
“Since SB 8 came into effect on September 1, exactly what we feared has happened,” Melaney Linton, president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said in a court filing.
Texas women have to travel to other states to get them to play. According to an Associated Press article on September 14, a woman traveled 1,000 miles to Colorado for an abortion. Others go to New Mexico. Houston clinics are now reduced to doing a few abortions compared to over a hundred a day.