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Poll: Utahns Don’t Want More Restrictions on Abortion Rights

A new poll shows that most Utahns don't want the state Legislature to approve any more restrictions on women's reproductive rights. (rocketclips/AdobeStock)
A new poll shows that most Utahns don't want the state Legislature to approve any more restrictions on women's reproductive rights. (rocketclips/AdobeStock)
February 28, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY - Members of the Utah Legislature have proposed a significant number of bills this session to restrict women's reproductive rights. However, a recent poll shows that a majority of Utahns disagree with their elected officials.

The poll asked about 800 Utah citizens regarding issues such as sex education, contraceptive access, abortion, and Roe vs. Wade. Despite Republican support for a bill banning most abortions in the state, the vast majority of Utahns said the Legislature should not pass any more restrictions.

Karrie Galloway, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Utah, says state lawmakers are not listening to the people who elected them.

"The state Legislature, because we have a super-majority of one party here, have said that they don't believe a woman should be able to have a choice," says Galloway. "What this poll provides is to let us know that the people they are representing don't feel that way."

Despite the poll results, legislators behind the two major bills affecting abortions defended them, and said despite the poll results, they believe a majority of Utahns agree with them.

In addition, 65% support "medically accurate" sex education, 80% back state funding of reproductive health services for low-income families, and 52% want the courts to uphold Roe versus Wade. Galloway says lawmakers have been busy this session passing so-called "trap laws" on abortion rights, which would not become effective unless the Supreme Court outlaws abortions.

"The fact that close to 80% of the sample, once they've learned how many "trap laws" Utah has already passed, feels there's no need to restrict abortion further," says Galloway.

Galloway is referring to the fact that poll respondents weren't initially told about the current restrictions on reproductive rights in Utah. But when pollsters informed them, a majority changed their answer to say lawmakers should not pass any more restriction.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - UT