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Opinion: Being ‘pro-life’ means helping all Utahns rise above poverty

In Utah, almost 2,000 women opted for abortions in 2019 for socioeconomic reasons. We need laws that help lift these women and children out of poverty

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A woman holding a megaphone and a “Roe must go” sign stands by other women in front of the U.S, Supreme Court.

Anti-abortion protesters demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Washington. Now that abortion is a state law, it is up to each state to care for the women and children affected by abortion bans.

Manuel Balce Ceneta, Assocated Press

Due to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Utah’s trigger ban on abortion, SB174, comes into effect. SB174 prohibits elective abortion procedures with the exception of the mother’s life being at risk, cases of reported incest or rape, or if two physicians who practice “maternal-fetal medicine” both determine that the fetus “has a defect that is uniformly diagnosable and uniformly lethal or ... has a severe brain abnormality that is uniformly diagnosable.”

In 2019 1,807 women in the state of Utah opted to have an abortion due to socioeconomic reasons. In Utah alone, an estimated 91,433 children were living in poverty during 2019. The cycle of poverty is a vicious cycle that can affect families for generations to come. When a child is born into a family below or near the poverty line, it’s challenging to advance in life.

If we aim to be “pro-life,” how can we alleviate the socioeconomic pressures on these mothers? If we aim to be “pro-life,” we must invest in the futures of all children in our state.

We must ensure that all Utahns have access to safe housing that does not surpass 30% of a family’s income level. We must provide equitable access to child care, quality health care and food. Lastly, we must favor financial policies that positively affect families living in poverty.

Until we ensure that every person in Utah can rise above the poverty line, we can never truly be “pro-life.”

Logan Bridges