After the morning fog lifted, hundreds of protesters marched around the Utah Capitol on Saturday afternoon with a clear message: End legal abortion in the United States.
Organizers of the March for Life event wanted to draw attention to the “approximately 3,000 Utah babies” who “lose their lives through abortion” every year and the “millions of lives that have been lost since the passage of Roe v. Wade,” according to march organizers.
The march was set to roughly coincide with the anniversary of that landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, which was handed down on Jan. 22, 1973. It struck down many state and federal anti-abortion laws, declaring that women have a right to end their pregnancies without excessive government restriction.
The Salt Lake City event began with a prayer by Bishop Oscar A. Solis, who leads Utah’s 300,000-plus Catholics, and featured remarks from Deanna Holland, vice president of Pro-Life Utah, and anti-abortion activist Dusty Johns. State Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, announced plans to introduce a bill that would end elective abortions in Utah.
After those remarks, marchers circled the Capitol, carrying signs proclaiming, “Defend life,” “Choose the gift of life,” “Babies are murdered here” and “All lives matter, even the unborn, in the eyes of God.”
The event was held in conjunction with other marches around the country this weekend. On Friday, Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address the March for Life in the nation’s capital, telling thousands on the National Mall they were motivated to be there by “pure, unselfish love” and declaring, “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.”
Previous anti-abortion presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, invited march leaders to the White House, sent messages or delivered messages over the phone but did not attend.