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Convention slated to be held in Salt Lake City cancels over abortion, transgender laws

Posted at 9:28 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 00:09:24-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A medical nonprofit organization that advocates for ethical research and testing has pulled out of a conference they were planning to hold in Utah, citing abortion and transgender athletics laws.

The group, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance ethical research that provides education.

"This was to be a five-day conference, bringing together a range of stakeholders who are involved in research with human beings and research with animals,” said Executive Director, Elisa Hurley.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 people were expected to attend the conference that will now go virtual.

“You know it made us realize that we didn't think in good conscience, that we could go to the state of Utah and bring our people together for the meeting,” Hurley said. “It was a combination of the trigger law going into effect in Utah, as well as the piece of legislation that prevents transgender women and girls from participating in sports aligned with their gender identity.”

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute has previously estimated that convention goers will spend an average of $971. That money goes right back into the local economy.

Using that number, 3,000 attendees would have generated $2,913,000.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams issued a statement to FOX 13 News saying, “Though an organization has decided to relocate, other organizations have chosen Utah to hold conferences and events. While I disagree with the tactics of boycotting, our economy remains strong, and we will continue to pass policies that are in the best interest of all Utahns.”

The PRIM&R 2022 conference was supposed to be from November 14 -18. It will now go online in mid-December.

Hurley thinks that her organization may be the first of many to leave Utah over legislation.

“Some I think are making similar decisions or they're certainly weighing with these sorts of weighing these sorts of decisions,” Hurley said. “When will we see other organizations follow suit I guess we'll see.”

FOX 13 News also learned that the American Society for Human Genetics also canceled for the same reason.

That convention was anticipated to bring in 7,300 attendees in October 2028.