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US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; Utah leaders react

U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington D.C., via Library of Congress
Carol M. Highsmith
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Retrieved from the Library of Congress
U.S. Supreme Court building, Washington, D.C.

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years — a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases. Friday’s outcome overturning Roe v. Wade is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump. The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.

Read the opinion | Live updates from NPR

Here's what Utah's leaders and politicians have to say:

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes: “The Supreme Court pronouncement is clear. It has returned the question of abortion to the states. And the Utah legislature has answered that question. My office will do its duty to defend the state law against any and all potential legal challenges.”

Diocese of Salt Lake City: “The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City welcomes efforts to protect the dignity and sanctity of every life from conception to natural death. We are grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes the human within in the womb, but we also recognize it is the responses of communities to women in need before, during and after pregnancy and the birth of a child that are the most important to building a culture of life.

Courts cannot ensure that women have the support and resources needed to raise healthy children. We encourage all communities of faith, neighbors, friends, and family to be ready and willing to walk with moms as they seek to provide lives of dignity for their children.”

Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis: “This decision is earth-shattering for women across the country, especially in states like Utah, where extremist Republicans have meticulously put in place extremely restrictive abortion bans, plotting for exactly this moment. Let’s be clear: such personal and intimate decisions as the choice to have an abortion should be between a woman, her family, and her doctor, and they should not involve the agenda of radical politicians.

Most Utahns do not want to see this restrictive ban go into effect in our state. We call on GOP leadership to convene a special session of the legislature to repeal their extremist ban and listen to the voices of a majority of Utahns who don’t want to see the government take away freedom of choice from the women of our state. This decision has just raised the stakes even higher for November’s election: we absolutely must elect Democratic candidates to the legislature who will support reproductive freedom and fight back against Republicans’ efforts to undermine it.”

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