FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY -- On Thursday, February 15 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. a rally will be held at the Utah State Capitol Plaza to oppose House Bill 235, a bill that would criminalize abortion in Utah. Today the House substituted a so-called “trigger” bill. Either way one bill would directly challenge Roe v. Wade if it is signed into law and the other would impose an abortion ban at some uncertain time in the future. Both versions violate a woman’s constitutional right to decide whether or not to have a child, which is among the most fundamental and private decisions a person can make.
Instead of preventing abortion by providing access to family planning and comprehensive sex education, this legislature wants to take away a woman’s choice, a private personal and medical decision that is made by roughly 3,000 women in Utah a year. 66% of women who have abortions in Utah are mothers, mothers who have to make gut wrenching decisions for the welfare of their families. Even in a recent Dan Jones & Associates poll conducted for the Deseret Morning News and KSL-TV, 52% of Utahns oppose adopting a law that would outlaw abortion.
Utah does not need to spend $2-4 million dollars defending an unconstitutional law. What Utah needs are programs that prevent abortion such as family planning funding and increased access to low cost contraceptives. Utah’s priorities should be focused on the children that are already a part of our families and communities. Our state is currently struggling with so many unfunded needs that concern the health, welfare and education of our children. This is not the time to consider this burdensome expense.
The rally is being co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several other community organizations will be there.
The ACLU of Utah challenged Utah’s 1991 anti-abortion law. The case was finally resolved in 1997 when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, thus upholding two appellate court decisions holding the law unconstitutional. The fight to maintain reproductive freedom, access to safe and legal abortion care, and programs that foster healthy families continues to be an important part of the ACLU of Utah’s work.
Last year, in Utah, Planned Parenthood provided services including sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, emergency contraception, pap smears, birth control, pregnancy tests and more to nearly 43,000 women and men. PPAU reached an additional 10,000 through education and outreach. Planned Parenthood provides women, men and teens with the information, education and services they need to protect their health, prevent unintended pregnancy, plan and space healthy, wanted pregnancies — and ultimately, to fulfill their dreams and destinies.