Remarking the choice is as American as apple pie, pro-choice groups delivered dozens of the desserts to Utah lawmakers Tuesday after a press conference to decry the abortion bill now before lawmakers.
"Utah NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) condemns this action, and further, we condemn the way this bill is being rushed through without adequate time for public input," said Susanne Millsaps, executive director of the Utah chapter.Some lawmakers would not accept the pies, apparently because of their personal beliefs about abortion.
Others who spoke at the press conference were more direct in their criticism of Gov. Norm Bangerter and the Legislature. Said Jane Leen, reproductive rights task force chairwoman of the Utah National Organization for Women: "They are using the Persian Gulf conflict as a smoke screen to cover up the dirty politics being used to sneak through an anti-abortion bill. Suspending the rules is not the way to show support for the democratic process."
Leen said the penalties of the bill were "conveniently omitted" in the draft version of the legislation. "Both women and doctors would be jailed for taking part in abortions that do not fit the narrow exceptions of the bill. It would be committing a second-degree felony, which carries a penalty of one to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Why aren't the sponsors of the bill telling Utahns that women could be imprisoned for seeking an abortion," she said.
The women who spoke at the press conference expressed concern that the bill would leave women - particularly the poor and uneducated - few choices if they have an unplanned pregnancy.
"If this bill goes into effect, even for one day, it will be women, once again, who are putting their lives on the line, putting their lives on coat-hanger-wielding butchers and quacks. We know about some of the thousands of women who died from illegal abortions or from trying to self-abort before Roe v. Wade," Millsaps said.