Hundreds protest abortion bans at Utah Capitol building

Activists gather in the Utah State Capitol Rotunda to protest abortion bans happening in Utah and around the country Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City. State law makers recently passed a ban on abortions after 18 weeks, but have agreed not to enforce the ban as a court challenge plays out. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Several hundred people gathered in the Utah state Capitol Tuesday afternoon to join a nationwide protest against abortion bans being passed around the country.

“My body, my choice!” chants caught the attention of lawmakers and others.

Parents with babies strapped to their chest and teenagers who left school early to attend the protest stood on the rotunda floor and passed around markers to make posters championing abortion rights.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I know what’s best for my body, not politicians like you!” one poster read.

The demonstration was one of many across the nation to protest new state laws targeting abortion rights. They range from an outright ban in Alabama to bans on abortion after six weeks.

Tuesday’s protest comes as Utah grapples with its own abortion laws. Legislators recently passed a ban on abortions after 18 weeks but have agreed not to enforce it as a court challenge plays out.

A coalition of abortion rights organizations including Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and Women’s March worked with community organizers to plan the event.

Salt Lake City resident Elizabeth Miller said the ramped-up rhetoric against abortions by some legislators spurred her to organize the event. “It’s an assault on women’s rights, it diminishes a woman’s fundamental ability to make decisions that are best for themselves and their children,” she said.

Democratic Rep. Angela Romero told the group she supports repealing bans on abortion. She said Republican colleagues debating the legislation used “dehumanizing” language.

One counter-protester, Deanna Holland, stood to the side of the room with an anti-abortion sign urging people to care for fetuses. “I want to represent unborn, and give them a voice at this rally,” she said.

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  • Warren s Pugh May 22, 2019 at 9:30 am Reply

    “My body, my choice”. What an age old ploy. Feeling sorry for themselves and totally ignorant. NO ONE has ever said women had no right to their bodies. No one has ever
    told them what they could or could not do. The number of abortions and millions of dollars taken in by Planned Parenthood is evidence of that.

    However, when one of these jollies has someone else pay the bill she has sold her body to tax payers . . .whether or not they want it. And. please, none of this other worn out ploy and big lie about the health of mother and child. It is rare. The federals have all the stats to prove you are leaching.

  • KM May 22, 2019 at 10:06 am Reply

    I’m personally sick of tax payer dollars paying for Viagra. It’s God’s will, like pregnancy. SOCIALISM!

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