Pro-choice groups in Utah expect the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Pennsylvania's law to severely restrict a woman's ability to obtain a legal abortion.
Even though the justices may not use this case to officially overturn Roe vs. Wade, "it seems quite certain that they will uphold greater restrictions on a woman's access to a safe and legal abortion," said Susanne Millsaps, director of the Utah chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League."Although abortion is still legal and accessible in Utah, it is clear that right is hanging by a thread," she said.
Pro-choice groups held a press conference Tuesday morning at the offices of Planned Parenthood for Utah to note the expected demise of women's unfettered right to seek an abortion.
"The courts and their protections are lost to us for decades to come," Millsaps said.
The groups - including Planned Parenthood, Republicans for Choice, the American Civil Liberties Union and National Organization for Women - urged pro-choice Utahns to turn to the legislative branch of government for protection of a woman's right to an abortion.
Millsaps urged Utahns to support the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill making abortion legal in all states. Democrats are expected to introduce the bill before Congress within a month after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Pennsylvania law.
"But passing the law is not enough," she said. "We must also have enough votes to override the veto that George Bush is certain to offer up. That's why it is vitally important that we elect pro-choice legislators and replace anti-choice ones."
Women speaking at the press conference urged pro-choice Utahns to attend mass meetings on Monday and make choice the "bottom line issue" when they vote in November.
"Ask every candidate you speak with what his or her stand on choice is," Millsaps said.
Utah NARAL is preparing a list of candidates who support a woman's right to choose an abortion, she said. The group plans to circulate the list before mass meetings on Monday, she said.