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 about issues such as sex education, contraceptive access, abortion and Roe v. Wade.
The poll asked about 800 people in the state questions about things like sex education, contraceptive access, abortion, and Roe versus Wade. Despite Republican support for a bill banning most abortions in the state, the vast majority of Utahns surveyed said the Legislature should not pass any more restrictions. Karrie Galloway with Planned Parenthood of Utah said 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. What this poll provides is to let us know that the people they are representing don't feel that way,” Galloway said.
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 percent support "medically accurate" sex education, 80 percent back state funding of reproductive health services for low-income families, and 52 percent want the courts to uphold Roe versus Wade. Galloway said 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 already has passed, feels there's no need to restrict abortion further,” Galloway said.
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.