SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah community rallied at the Salt Lake City and County Building Wednesday to voice their support for abortion rights.
The rally comes a day after a Third District Court judge approved an injunction that prevented a law banning abortion clinics from taking effect Wednesday in Utah.
“I’ve never questioned whether people should determine the course of their own health care, the answer is ‘Yes,'” said Alex, a speaker at the rally who had an abortion in 2019. “Every person has a right to decide if and when they have a child, and they should [be able to] access compassionate patient-centered care as I received.”
According to The Associated Press, Tuesday’s decision allowed the four clinics in the state to continue providing abortions while the judge takes time to weigh on the lawsuit filed by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, asking to delay the implementation of Utah’s abortion clinic ban until the court can rule on its legality. This is separate from the lawsuit filed to delay the implementation of Utah’s abortion trigger law.
HB 467, which passed with overwhelming support in both state houses, was signed into law by Gov. Spencer Cox on March 15. While abortion remains legal up to 18 weeks of pregnancy under the law, it changes the way clinics are licensed to perform abortions in Utah. As the law stands right now, Utah abortion clinics that are not broader medical facilities will be forced to close on Jan. 1, 2024, or when their licenses expire, whichever comes first.
“Now that I’m pregnant, I see more clearly how the implications of House Bill 467 and other anti-abortion legislation are vastly further reaching than the right to choose when to start a family,” Alex said. “These bills mean my husband and I will not get to decide our families’ fate if our fetus is deemed high risk for chromosome abnormality at my 10-week blood screen or for a neural tube defect at my 20-week anatomy scan.”
Candida Duran Taveras, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, said having an abortion in 2014 saved her life.
“I was able to work on my mental health and live a life that was right for me,” Taveras said. “I will be forever grateful that I got to choose if and when to become a parent, and this is a decision everyone should be able to make for themselves.”
Three years later, Taveras became a mother and also a doula. She said being a doula has only solidified her support for abortion justice as she helps people through all outcomes of pregnancy.
The judge who delivered Tuesday’s ruling reportedly said the threat against Utahns’ personal freedom “remains dire as politicians continue to undermine our judicial process,” according to The Associated Press.