‘We’ve been given a miracle’ – Anti-abortion advocates celebrate Roe reversal at Utah Capitol

Pro-abortion protesters also show up and some verbal altercations ensue.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members of Abortion Free Utah and other groups listen to speakers in the Capitol as they mark the end of Roe v. celebrate calf

The speaker’s microphone flicked on and off as Deanna Holland said the opening prayer, sending out cries of “My body, my choice” over the assembled anti-abortion crowd.

It was a fitting start to the rest of the afternoon.

The atmosphere at the Utah Capitol was a mix of euphoria and irritation on Saturday as some 1,000 people gathered on the front steps to witness the fall of Roe v. to celebrate Wade.

Another group, organized just behind the anti-abortion crowd, staged a counter-rally, holding signs and chanting protests against the US Supreme Court’s recent decision abolishing the nearly half-century-old constitutional right to abortion .

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gunmen surround the crowd as members of Abortion Free Utah and other groups listen to speakers in the Capitol as they mark the end of Roe v. celebrate calf

Anti-abortion activists cheered while listening to various speakers, and a live musical number was performed by Nathan Osmond, a nephew of Donny and Marie Osmond.

“How can we not celebrate?” Holland, executive director of Pro-Life Utah, in an interview. “Because a miracle has been given to us.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters mingle with anti-abortion activists after Abortion Free Utah and other groups gathered in the Capitol on Saturday, July 2, 2022 to mark the end of Roe v. to celebrate Wade.

For the other side, however, the reversal of judgment was just the opposite.

Although the original abortion rights protest was canceled, more than 120 protesters showed up. Jessica Robertson drove up from Cedar City to attend and said she cried four times after the court decision.

“It scares me,” she said in an interview.

In Utah, the legislature passed trigger legislation banning almost all abortions except in certain circumstances, such as rape or incest. The law is currently subject to an injunction. However, it could come into effect in just over a week.

“It was the perfect bill at the perfect time with a perfect sponsor,” said Gayle Ruzicka, Utah Eagle Forum President, in a speech at Saturday’s event. “This is how God works.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gayle Ruzicka, President of the Utah Eagle Forum, speaks at a rally sponsored by Abortion Free Utah and other groups in the Capitol to celebrate the end of Roe v. Wade on Saturday, July 2nd. 2022.

Speaking after Ruzicka, the measure’s sponsor, Senator Dan McCay, R-Riverton, pushed back on the notion that he was perfect, saying that only one man has ever lived a perfect life.

“Maybe there are times when we can all be perfect for a moment,” he said. “Maybe there are times in our lives when we need to stop and think, ‘Is this the moment we need to be perfect?'”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senator Dan McCay speaks at a rally sponsored by Abortion Free Utah and other groups in the Capitol to celebrate the end of Roe v. Wade on Saturday 2nd July 2022.

US Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, made a surprise appearance and gave a short speech honoring three women in his lifetime who had given birth despite unwanted pregnancies.

The final speaker of the afternoon was Curtis’ housemate Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, who highlighted the nation’s principles and thanked the crowd for their tenacity.

“This country is built on miracles, and miracles are what we can expect because we are based on Judeo-Christian values,” Owens said. “… [On] June 24th [the day of the high court’s landmark ruling]we have become a more perfect union because America has prayed for this day for 50 years.”

Although the main crowd dispersed after the speeches ended, pro-abortion rights advocates seemed to gather momentum after the event and stayed for more than an hour, some of them verbally fighting with militiamen and others in the anti-abortion group.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gunmen surround the crowd as members of Abortion Free Utah and other groups listen to speakers in the Capitol as they mark the end of Roe v. celebrate calf

While the dialogue was often antagonistic, there were scattered zones of courtesy between the two groups.

“A lot of times we just shout slogans, and there’s not enough compassion or empathy on their side,” said 18-year-old Naomi Cernyar, an anti-abortion advocate who spent time speaking with pro-abortion protesters on Saturday. “And to cross that little divide and just ask them and hear their life stories and some of the tough things they’ve been through makes it human.” [them].”

Holland added: “I understand it’s scary right now because they don’t know what it’s like to live without Roe. But we are here and the future is bright.”

All crowds had dispersed by 4 p.m

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/07/02/we-have-been-given-miracle/ ‘We’ve been given a miracle’ – Anti-abortion advocates celebrate Roe reversal at Utah Capitol

Joel McCord

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