Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade. UPR spoke with two Utah organizations located on different sides of the discussion and found both are concerned about the future of women’s healthcare.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has become a divisive political issue in the state and around the nation in the 40 years since the court ruling legalized some forms of abortion.
Karrie Galloway, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Utah says the organization’s goal is to protect women’s healthcare options, though she said some politicians’ personal views on the issue do, from time to time, challenge the organization’s services.
"For many people, it is a number one topic. For most people it is settled law. There are people all over the spectrum. And, when you get elected to public office, you get to take your own personal moral issues to the statehouse, and we see a lot of that happening in Utah," Galloway said.
Galloway said laws supporting family planning and women’s health are what make strong families.
Other Utah groups feel that abortion in the state needs more regulation. Shawn Bauer, the interim executive director of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Salt Lake City, says the increased availability of pills like Plan B need more oversight.
To me it's a women's health issue. They need to be educated fully before they even go and get an abortion pill. I feel like making them over the counter, even accessible online, that kind of thing, puts a woman's health at risk," Bauer said. "So that's the part I'm concerned about, is them getting enough education about what they're taking, what they're putting in their bodies, how it's going to affect their bodies, and even affect their futures."
Bauer said she hopes the legislature will more tightly regulate abortion in the future.
For now, the debate is sure to continue in Utah and across the nation.