Anti-abortion protesters march on Utah State Capitol on 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Activists were hopeful that abortion rights would be rolled back by the Supreme Court before the decision’s 50th anniversary.

Dozens of yellow flags emblazoned with the word “LIFE” adorned the Utah State Capitol’s steps Saturday afternoon, where hundreds of protesters gathered to rally against abortion.

Saturday was the Roe v. Wade decision’s 49th anniversary, and speakers at the March for Life Utah event were hopeful the decision would be overturned by the Supreme Court before its 50th. Just months earlier, the court refused to block a Texas law that bans a majority of abortions in the state, and the justices will soon decide on a case over abortion restrictions in Missouri — which could overturn the decision.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hundreds of anti-abortion activists rally at Pro-Life Utah's March for Life at the Utah Capitol on Saturday, in conjunction with the national March for Life in D.C., Jan. 22, 2022.

Utah is one of more than 20 states that’s passed a ‘trigger law,’ which would immediately ban virtually all elective abortions if the decision is overturned.

“Pro-Life Utah and our allies have worked hard over the years to lay a foundation for a post-Roe country and state,” said Pro-Life Utah president Mary Taylor. “So is our work complete? Unfortunately, no. In fact, we need all hands on deck more than ever now if we want to ensure an abortion-free state.”

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah legislators l-r Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Riverton, Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield and Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan were among the hundreds attending Saturday's March for Life at the Utah Capitol, in conjunction with the national March for Life in D.C., Jan. 22, 2022.

Taylor hinted that Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, would be proposing legislation to make some “simple changes” to “protect women and save the lives of unborn babies.” She urged attendees to call their representatives and ask them to support Birkeland’s legislation and said only a “small number” of state legislators are willing to take on pro-life legislation.

She also asked attendees to donate to Pro-Life Utah, since they anticipate an even greater need for services next year, like the organization’s mobile clinic for pregnant women.

“Every single child’s life is invaluable — but this work is not easy, and it’s not cheap,” Taylor said. “Please join us to find out how you can play a role in this important work. Now more than ever, like I said, we really need all hands on deck.”