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Jasen Lee, Deseret News
Activists march up State Street in Salt Lake City to the state Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. About 200 people participated in the March4Life event organized by Pro-Life Utah in support of pro-life principles in Utah and nationwide.

SALT LAKE CITY — About 200 vocal advocates of the pro-life movement took to the snowy streets of downtown Salt Lake City to "walk the walk" in solidarity with the principles of eliminating abortion in Utah and nationwide.

Saturday's event was organized by local nonprofit Utah Pro-Life as part of the annual March4Life rallies held to protest the 1973 Supreme Court decision permitting abortion.

Chloe Card, 27, of Lindon, said she has long been an activist for the cause of offering women an alternative to terminating a pregnancy and preserving the life of so many unborn children.

"I believe a life is a life, no matter what, but it's definitely a woman's choice to make that decision," she said. "A child shouldn't be punished for the reasons it's conceived. Every child deserves a right to live and shouldn't be discriminated against."

March4Life participant Donald Lewis of West Jordan said he strongly opposes abortion in virtually every instance but believes options are available that could provide a viable solution for both unborn children and women who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies.

"Abortion is murder," he said. "Adoption is a much more loving option."

He added that more emphasis should be put on providing expectant mothers with support in their tumultuous circumstances to help them realize there are options that could help them in their time of need.

The march took place on the eve of the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973 that legalized abortion in the U.S. Over the past several decades, pro-life advocates and pro-choice supporters have been at odds regarding the morality of pregnancy termination. The subject of abortion continues to be among the more contentious political issues of the day, said Pro-Life Utah President Mary Taylor. But she is confident that support for the reversal of the landmark law may be on the horizon.

"Science and technology are shining the light on the humanity of the unborn," she explained. "Abortion will be a thing of the past at some point in the future."

She noted that the same technology that has created life-like ultrasound images may be the vehicle that sways public sentiment away from allowing the abortion procedure to continue.

"The more that we know about what goes on in the womb, the harder it is to defend abortion," Taylor said. "More and more people are starting to realize that and at some point, it will be impossible to defend."

Taylor noted that she was not always a pro-life supporter. But after making the decision to abort an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, she eventually became a believer in the sanctity of life as she grew into adulthood and became more informed.

"I had always been pro-choice, however, there was little nagging in my brain (at the time)," she said. When she was pregnant at 25, she received ultrasound images of her soon-to-be daughter at 11-weeks into her pregnancy and she had an epiphany.

"It hit me like a ton of bricks that this was the very same point I had an abortion (when I was a teen)," she said. "I was devastated! I was an accomplice to the murder of my own child."

From that point on, she has become an evangelist for the pro-life movement, she noted.

"It's because I recognize that an unborn baby is a human being," she said. "You don't have to be religious to think that (perspective) is of value."

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Keynote speaker Dr. Kathi Aultman, 67, shared a similar story with the audience on-hand in the Hall of Governors at the state Capitol. Prior to going to medical school, she became pregnant unexpectedly and decided to have an abortion. And while an OB-GYN, she performed numerous procedures for women over her career as a staunch pro-choice advocate, she said. However, over time she became disenchanted and began feeling as though she was not serving her patients or her own moral integrity.

"I began to change my thinking and it wasn't until my friend gave me an article comparing the Holocaust to abortion that I really changed my heart and I became pro-life," she said. Since then she has become a strong supporter of the pro-life movement, she said.

"If somebody like me can change my opinion, then other people can change their opinions too," Aultman said.