Tomorrow, January 22, is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the court case that established the right to an abortion in the United States. After 49 years, this could be the last year we mark this date, as the current Supreme Court has made it clear that our constitutional right to abortion is no longer guaranteed. The days of legal and accessible abortion across the country are numbered. And because of the trigger ban passed here in Utah in 2020, if Roe is overturned this summer, abortion access could effectively be banned in our state.
This week also kicked off Utah’s Legislative Session. Our Public Affairs team is working hard tracking bills and working with legislators and community partners to advance pro-reproductive freedom bills while keeping a close eye on any further restrictions. We will be updating our bill tracker throughout the session – be sure to check it out often! You can also follow the session, watch livestreams of floor time and committee hearings, and find your legislators at le.utah.gov.
With issues like public health, education, LGTBQ+ rights, and racial equity on the line, we know that this year is going to be a busy and fast-paced 45 days. To make sure you are receiving our legislative updates, sign up for our Birds and the Beehive Ambassador emails here. (If you already get emails with “THE HIVE” in the subject line, you are signed up!)
While we are not celebrating Roe’s 49th anniversary with an event this year, we hope you’ll take time to talk about this important milestone and what is at stake for abortion access with your friends and family. Watch this video - What's the Deal With Abortions and the Supreme Court? - and share it with your friends, family, and social networks. You can learn more at BansOffOurBodies.org.
The truth is that because of the dozens of restrictions already in place, many people in Utah already have trouble accessing abortion, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous people, people living in rural areas, people with disabilities, immigrants, as well as trans men, and non-binary and gender-nonconforming people. Abortion is essential health care and should not be politicized. This is each person’s decision based on what is best for them. Politicians — some of whom don’t even understand how pregnancy works — should not be involved in someone’s personal medical decisions about a pregnancy.
Whether or not the Supreme Court explicitly overturns Roe v. Wade, damage has already been done, and we cannot be complacent. We must fight for our communities and take proactive measures to protect abortion access. We need the Senate to take up and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act as soon as possible, and for all lawmakers at all levels of government to ensure everyone can make their own health care decisions without political interference. In honor of Roe v. Wade Day, please contact Senators Romney and Lee and voice your support for the Women’s Health Protection Act.
We will never stop fighting for a world where every person has the fundamental human rights necessary to live their best life.