ST. GEORGE – About two dozen pro-life advocates gathered at 600 S. Bluffs St. in St. George Wednesday morning to protest the controversial Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling which, in essence, restricted states from enforcing anti-abortion laws. It was the 41st anniversary of the controversial ruling that triggered a nationwide divide on basic human rights questions, when does life begin, does and should one human being have a right to intervene in the progression of another life?
The peaceful prayer vigil Wednesday was held from 10 a.m. to noon on the sidewalk outside of the St. George office of Planned Parenthood. Some participants brought their own signs, others used those provided by the organizers.
Rose Medina unveiled a new large banner that read: “Please don’t believe the lies, abortion kills your baby.”
“We are here to protect the unborn and we are not going to go away until all of our unborn brothers and sisters are protected by the law,” Medina said.
“I am here in particular to support men who regret the loss of their babies because of an abortion,” one activist, Julie Romanov, said, “and also women who do regret abortions.”
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Cameras and recording equipment are not allowed on or in the Planned Parenthood property out of respect for women and men that use their services. Planned Parenthood’s public relations representative in Utah, Karrie Galloway, said: “We acknowledge the protesters out front of the Planned Parenthood corner in St. George have every right to express whatever it is that they are expressing. My question for them is what is their motivation for making women uncomfortable for taking care of their health care?” – a rhetorical question as it was given in a telephone conversation from Salt Lake and not directly to the demonstrators.
“We are here every first Saturday of the month from 10 (a.m.) to 12 (p.m.) in prayer for the precious unborn babies, and their mothers and fathers,” Medina said, “and we welcome everybody to come join us.”
On the other side of the great divide over the abortion question, those who characterize themselves pro-choice, none came out to counter the pro-life demonstration Wednesday morning.
“Women have had a choice in anything medical, maybe not early 19th century, mid-19th century, but we certainly have that choice now,” Julie said, “and I definitely do not support abortion.”
“I am proud of what Planned Parenthood does,” Galloway said.
Does Planned Parenthood prevent abortions? “That is our main goal,” Galloway said. “Our abortion services that we provide at Planned Parenthood at a health center here in Salt Lake are less than 1 percent of the services that we provide to over 56,000 men and women in Utah every year. Well-people’s exams and contraception and family planning and healthy sexuality education is what Planned Parenthood is providing.”
“We do more than any of those protesters could ever think of doing to make sure that people can create the family that they want,” Galloway said.
The St. George Clinic of Planned Parenthood does not perform abortions, but a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Salt Lake area does. According to the St. George Planned Parenthood’s website, the local clinic does provide abortion referrals.
Hope Pregnancy Care Center, located at 391 E. 500 S. in St. George, is an alternative resource for women and men in the St. George area who are facing pregnancy challenges, considering options, want parenting education – even fatherhood 101, are single parenting, or struggling in the aftermath of an abortion. Hope acknowledges all legal options available to a client regarding pregnancy, but it does not provide abortion referrals.
St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.
Hope Pregnancy Care Center | Telephone 435-652-8343 | 391 E. 500 S., St. George
Planned Parenthood – St. George Clinic | Telephone 435-674-9933 | 595 S. Bluff St., St. George
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