Hundreds gather at Capitol to protest increasingly strict abortion laws

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Activists at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday argued that American women should make decisions about abortion, not the government.

While Utah’s 18-week conditional abortion ban moves forward in federal court, about 300 pro-choice activists stood up against newly enacted laws.

They came with costumes, protest signs and passion, arguing federal law passed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 should remain the law of the land.

"I think the idea of overturning Roe v. Wade is a possibility that terrifies me,” Tiffany Thorne said.

Utah’s controversial abortion ban joins others passed in conservative states. They’re headed to federal court to challenge the landmark decision now that conservative judges hold the majority.

“In order to change the law, we have to pass other laws and have them challenged,” said Rep. Cheryl Acton (R-West Jordan).

Acton said new information on abortion procedures, fetal pain perception and pregnant women's mental health drove her decision to sponsor Utah’s legislation.

“There are all kinds of things that have changed since 1973, but the law is not allowed to change because of Roe v. Wade,” Rep. Acton said.

Utah’s Planned Parenthood CEO Carrie Galloway said lawmakers are overshadowing a woman’s right to healthcare with political agendas.

“When we start tinkering at the edges and now going for the root of women's ability to control their own bodies, we have a problem,” Galloway said.

The protest is among others happening in all 50 states Tuesday as part of the national “Stop the Bans” day of action.

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