SALT LAKE CITY — Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, protests continue to take place across the country and here in Utah.
Hundreds met at the steps of the Utah State Capitol Sunday evening for a demonstration in favor of abortion rights.
“This is a very intersectional issue that affects over 70% of this population,” said Rylee Smith, one of the organizers.
During the speeches, artists put together an art piece using wire hangers to symbolize the method of unsafe abortions many women used pre-Roe v. Wade.
“We need to stand and protect Black, indigenous, and people of color. We need to stand up for disabled people, trans, and LGBTQ people because this is an attack on all of us,” said one speaker.
Protesters fear restricting abortion access significantly impacts minority and low-income women.
According to a report published last month by Utah State University’s Utah Women and Leadership Project, researchers found that Black women in Utah are “much more likely to be uninsured,” “have worse access to medical care,” and have higher maternal morbidity rates.
“It’s going to mess up a lot of lives, and it just feels like the world’s on fire,” said Bonnie Marley, a protester at the capitol.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that low-income minority women face more barriers when it comes to accessing contraceptives. Researchers there say unintended pregnancies are highest among those least able to afford birth control and other pregnancy prevention options, and that’s “increased substantially over the past decade.”
“It’s supposed to be a great nation, and we’re just taking a step down,” said Marley.
The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utahfiled a lawsuit on Saturday to block Utah’s trigger law. Utahns who support abortion rights hope that can bring some change.
“If you don’t say anything, that’s even worse. Not protesting, not speaking your voice, not getting out there, not expressing how you feel. That’s the only way you can change stuff is by getting out and saying something,” said protester Havanna Bice.
There were no counter-protesters at Sunday’s protest, but Pro-Life Utah does have a celebration in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision planned for Saturday, July 2. That rally will be at the Utah State Capitol building at 2 p.m.