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Park City abortion rally happens Saturday in City Park

Planned Parenthood Abortion Rally

Planned Parenthood is holding rallies nationwide this weekend after a Supreme Court leak suggested that constitutional protections for abortion could end. KPCW has details about the Bans Off Our Bodies event scheduled for Saturday in Park City.

After 50 years of law protecting a woman’s right to have an abortion, the leak has mobilized millions of people to protest what political analysts predict is the end of Roe v. Wade. Utah is one of the 26 states with a trigger law ready that would end statewide access to abortion once the Supreme Court rules on the issue later this year.

Guest speakers for Saturday’s rally include Park City Mayor Nann Worel, Utah State Representative Brian King, Bright Futures University student Sadie Ortiz, Summit County Councilmember Malena Stevens, Dr. Tania Bodnar, and Park City Teen Councilmember Carly McAleer.

Park City Council Member Becca Gerber will attend, representing the city alongside Worel. Gerber believes the impending Supreme Court decision could turn back decades of critical access to reproductive rights for her children. She said every woman has a right to decide what’s best for their family and career.

“As a mother of a young daughter and also as a mother of a young son, I hope that when they get to the age where they are sexually active and choose to start a family or not to start a family, they have more rights and more options and more choices, not fewer. No parent wants to see their child live in the world with fewer opportunities than they had.”

Annabel Sheinberg is the vice president of external affairs for the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah, also known as PPAU. She said polls show 80% of the population wants abortion to be legal, and one in four women in the US will have an abortion in their lifetime.

“Utah is in line with the rest of the country, and we're still a red state, but even in this state, we even have a couple more findings. 50% of Utahns view reproductive rights as a priority amongst other legislative issues today. You know, resoundingly 86% believe that decisions about healthcare during pregnancy should be made by the pregnant person, not a politician.”

Sheinberg thinks showing up for the rally matters because it is a turning point, and PPAU plans to use this historical moment to build empathy and compassion around the word abortion. She said the word has been stigmatized and left out of the social dialogue. Planned Parenthood will introduce new organizing strategies.

“We're going to be going door-to-door and talking neighbor-to-neighbor to have meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations about abortion. And we're going to commit to saying abortion, saying the word. We're going to be texting our supporters and encouraging them to communicate with their elected officials, talking to their friends about why abortion access matters to them, and even hosting house parties to educate, inform and build a framework.”

A vote in Congress to codify Roe into federal law did not pass the Senate on Wednesday. The Supreme Court is expected to publish a final opinion in late June.

The abortion rally is Saturday in City Park from 4 to 5 P.M. Due to expected crowds; Park City Municipal asks attendees to ride the bus, walk, bicycle, or carpool.

Updated: May 13, 2022 at 11:28 AM MDT
Responding on behalf of the City.

At this time, no additional first amendment event applications have been received by Park City.

As with any event, the City will staff this event to ensure public safety and to mitigate any potential impacts on resident access, parking, and traffic.

We will be closing the southern part of Sullivan Road and removing parking around the south end of City Park. Traffic entering the main City Park entrance will be detoured to the north end of City Park.

Traffic and parking should not be interrupted for Library and Skate Park patrons, nor access to the Mawhinney parking lot. Parking areas will be monitored for use and time limits.

We encourage attendees to use free Park City Transit for travel to and from the event. Additional parking will be available at the high school with regularly scheduled transit available to City Park. Walking and biking are also encouraged. For transit route information and schedules, please visit parkcitytransit.org.

For additional information regarding the event and expected attendance, please contact the event media contact: Katrina Barker (Katrina.barker@ppau.org).

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.