A campaign to counter the National Organization for Women boycott of Utah because of the state's new abortion law has been launched by a pro-family women's organization.
The Utah Association of Women is sending a list of "Ten Spectacular Utah Vacations" to hundreds of people from all across the country who have heard about the anti-boycott effort through other conservative organizations."By strong ties with all pro-life and pro-family organizations, we can prove that the majority of the people of the United States favor legislation that protects human life in all its stages," an association letter to the organizations reads.
However, the material being mailed out to respondents does not refer to the NOW boycott called after Utah lawmakers approved what is considered the most restrictive abortion law in the country.
"The purpose of the mailing is to bring people to the state. It is not to promote a pro-life position," Susan Roylance, president of the association said during a Friday press conference.
The four-page brochure produced by the association describes destinations throughout the state and offers suggestions on visiting them for less than $200.
For example, the brochure proposes camping on the sandy beaches of Lake Powell while swimming, fishing and exploring the area. For those willing to spend more than $200, the brochure recommends renting a houseboat.
"Visit Spectacular Utah - The Family State," the brochure encourages. Bumper stickers with a similar message are also being distributed by the more than 300 association members.
The intent behind the mailing was clear to many of the people who responded to announcements from the association that have appeared in conservative publications and on syndicated radio programs.
"Please send me information on planning a Utah vacation together with any information you may have on your efforts to combat the hopeless and vindictive boycott of your state," read one letter from Skaneateles, N.Y.
A respondent who identified herself as a woman who believes "in life, children and love," said she "heard that pro-abortion forces are targeting Utah's tourist industry by demanding potential vacationers cancel Utah trips. . . . "
The Utah chapter of NOW announced plans earlier this year to organize a national boycott of the state to protest the abortion law passed by the 1991 Legislature.
The boycott, which will include an effort to keep Salt Lake City from being selected to host the 1998 Winter Olympics, has been endorsed by the national NOW and will be discussed at the Utah NOW State Conference Saturday.