Advocates take to the streets for, against Roe v. Wade; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE — Thursday marked the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973, decreeing that an existing state statute violated a woman’s right to privacy during the first trimester of pregnancy. The law remains a largely debated topic between opposing sides.

Anti-abortion, or pro-life, and pro-abortion rights, or pro-choice, supporters took to the sidewalks of St. George Thursday to spread awareness and to promote their individual stances on the issue.


To watch videocast, click the play arrow  play-arrow  in the center of the image the top of the story


At 11 a.m., at the intersection of St. George Boulevard and River Road, Democratic Party member Dorothy Engelman was present to show support for the pro-choice stance.

“I really think that our thing here today is not about abortion,” Engelman said. “It’s about a woman’s choice.”

According to Planned Parenthood, there are currently only two licensed abortion clinics in Utah, both located in Salt Lake County. There is also a 72-hour waiting period for any woman considering an abortion, Engelman said.


Read more: Abortion in Utah Legal but Availability Limited, Especially in Southern Utah – 2011


Across town on Bluff Street Thursday night, a peaceful demonstration was staged by pro-life proponents in front of Planned Parenthood.

“I think there’s a lot of alternatives (to abortion),” anti-abortion demonstrator Lisa Valadez said. “I don’t think there is an unwanted child. There’s so many people that can’t have children, and it’s a sad thing that there are actually people that are having abortions.”

Members of the Desert Ridge Baptist Church were present to show their support for unborn children who, they believe, are unable to speak for themselves.

“I don’t consider myself a political activist,” Desert Ridge Baptist Church member and anti-abortion demonstrator Michael Waldrop said. “I’m called to be a preacher of the gospel … the Bible teaches that God forms babies in the womb, and so they really belong to him.”

Pro-choice supporter Jack Bevelaqua took the opportunity to address other issues he said exist in the state, as well.

It’s important that Utah get in step with the rest of the country,” Bevelaqua said. “Utah Legislature is not very friendly towards women’s rights. I’m here supporting a woman’s right to choose and a woman’s right to equal pay.”

For many years, Utah has had some of the lowest abortion rates in the country among women ages 15-44 years old. According to statistics from Guttmacher Institute, an organization that endeavors to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, between 2008 and 2011, the abortion rate in the state decreased by 21 percent, representing only 0.3 percent of all U.S. abortions.

Videocast by St. George News videographer Leanna Bergeron

Ed. note: The term pro-abortion has been changed in this report to pro-choice in connection with Engelman’s statements, at her request.

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Email: lbergeron@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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46 Comments

  • Steve January 22, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    This is not about a woman’s right to choose. Women have the same right to choose to kill the life within them that men have to kill their toddlers…namely none (despite mistaken rulings to the contrary). I’m sure many women are not having abortions because they are choosing not to raise the children; they are having abortions because they don’t want to be pregnant for nine months or they don’t want people to know they have been having sexual relations. How selfish. (Not in all cases, of course, but in far too many.) By the way, the fathers also share in the responsibility for these deaths in many cases. It is shameful when so many families are willing to give these babies good lives.

    Liberal activists, get some decency and support something that is not killing innocent lives for selfish reasons.

    • Open for Ideas January 23, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Oh Steve, your emotional argument is moot. Making a statement like, “I’m sure many women are not having abortions because they are choosing not to raise the children; they are having abortions because they don’t want to be pregnant for nine months or they don’t want people to know they have been having sexual relations. How selfish.” is utterly absurd. Look I understand your conviction, and passion to be pro-life, but an argument supported by only your emotion rather than fact based evidence only serves to hurt you in the long run. How did you come up with such a ludicrous assumption, did you survey enough women who’ve had abortions, or find an actual study that supports your argument? Probably not, you merely ranted through emotion. I too am pro-life and atheist to boot, but I would never try to inject an assumption lacking in supportive evidence. My view is a little more fair minded and open when it comes to abortion. Being pro-life as an atheist it helps me picture the idea of an embryo as a potential human life, since everything I’ve read on the development of a fetus before the 20 week point, is more or less dividing cells instructed by genes and other molecules, where the DNA strands are yet to be viable at this point. I’m no scientist so my view shouldn’t be taken at face value. At any rate, my pro-life stance comes from the idea of it being a potential human life, but I agree that a woman should have the choice to treat her body as needed for her life and existence. What bothers me more, is how most fundamentalists go around preaching only abstinence, while ignoring birth control, and not promoting it. I understand their rule in the dogma they choose to follow, but it serves no value in the real world. Humans are wired for sex and that’s a fact. Many of the most hard core righteous succumb to the desires from within the human experience as we all do, it’s natural. So instead of promoting abstinence I promote sex education and birth control in order to PREVENT unwanted pregnancy. We will never stop people from having intercourse so it only makes sense to educate how not to get pregnant, and introduce the tools so if they become actively sexual, we can reduce the numbers of abortions by a large percentage. Far better than making a person feel guilty for acting on a natural human experience.

  • ladybugavenger January 22, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Woman have a right to choose…. to not have sex and get pregnant! They have a right to take birth control, but what gives a women a right to terminate a pregnancy, obviously there’s a life growing in you duhhhh its called being pregnant. So, the choice was before you got pregnant- not after. Just think if Obama’s mama aborted him, he wouldn’t be president. But it was her choice, right?

    • koolaid January 23, 2015 at 4:54 am

      Not according to those ancient Republican male senators who act as if they own women. Them old Republicans probably pine for the good ole days when a woman was traded for livestock or other goods. Her job was to produce children, quivers, as they are called in Utah. And physical force was acceptable to put her in her place. Ah ye,the good ole days.

      • ladybugavenger January 23, 2015 at 8:30 am

        Ya, OK. Oppressive people. I forgot where I lived, I hear in colorado city and Hillsdale they have their children young, they are not pro abortion or pro choice.

        • ladybugavenger January 23, 2015 at 8:37 am

          I believe once your pregnant, you don’t have a choice. Oops, you gotta deal with it. It might ruin your life for a while or a lifetime, but you can’t just kill your children!

          • Koolaid January 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

            Yep, and those Republicans don’t believe women can get pregnant when raped. Something about they gotta want to get pregnant or some stupid … like that.
            Ed. ellipsis.

          • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic January 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

            Koolaid, I bet you know this, but just in case: Most laws or medical provider restrictions pertaining to elective abortions have to do with those terminations that are not sought as a result of rape or incest, or the woman suffering from a physical disorder, injury or illness, including certain life endangering conditions.
            ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
            Joyce Kuzmanic
            Editor in Chief

          • ladybugavenger January 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm

            I’m gonna go watch hannity now

          • koolaid January 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm

            Joyce, that is true. The issue has gone back and forth between pro life and pro choice. My comments are directed at the religious and Republican factions that have sought to deny birth control measures through health care and insurance. That is a womans choice and right to health care coverage. , it’s as if these self claimed conservatives want women to get pregnant.

  • Not Buying It January 23, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Shut your pie hole you know absolutely NOTHING about anything

  • JAY ROVE January 23, 2015 at 1:58 am

    CDC REPORT JUST RELEASED
    IT SAY MORMONS LED THE STATES OF UTAH,IDAHO AND NEVADA IN THE RAPE OF CHILDREN FOR THE 100TH STRAIGHT YEAR..BUT NO MENTION OF THIS BY ANY CHRISTIANS BUT BOY DO THEY TALK ABOUT ISIS WHO DIDNT RAPE ANY AMERICANS

    • Big Guy January 23, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Fascinating information! How about a link to the report? If this is true, it will make headlines across the country. Thanks for discovering something all the rest of the world missed.

      • Koolaid January 23, 2015 at 10:14 am

        If it was Faux News, would you believe it?

    • Betty January 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Why are you yelling? It’s so difficult to read (or take serious) someone who LEAVES THE CAPS LOCK ON TO TRY AND MAKE A POINT! Geezzz

  • Worthingtonwl January 23, 2015 at 5:39 am

    The authors use of the term pro abortion is misleading. Most of us would never say we are pro abortion. We are pro choice, which means we believe it is up to the individual to make her own reproductive choices without outside parties interfering.

    • Anon January 23, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Did you know that if a person murders a pregnant woman (regardless of trimester or whether or not the mother wants the child), that the murderer is charged with the murder of two people? Why is it that the law will interpret that a fetus is not a baby (a person with rights) when a mother wants to kill it, but it is a baby with rights when it is murdered with the mother? The point is, yes, women have a choice. But by the time the baby is conceived, the choice has been made. The baby is not the choice. The baby is the consequence of the choice. Just because a person doesn’t like the consequence, doesn’t mean that an innocent being (with just as much right to live as you or I) should be victimized.

    • Brian January 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

      I suppose calling it “pro choice” rather than “pro abortion” or “murder” makes it easier to sleep at night. And shoplifters are just “undocumented customers”.

      • Just Curious January 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

        No, calling it pro-choice is correct because not every woman faced with this situation will choose abortion. Giving her a choice is the issue. Women who have had abortions don’t look down on women who choose to pop out baby after baby whether they can care for them or not. But the bottom line is that the Supreme Court made its decision. Live with it.

        • Anon January 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm

          Just because the Supreme Court made its decision does not make it right. If something is not correct, I will not sit down and “live with it.” Example: The Dred Scott decision. Should the people of African decent have just “lived with it” because the Supreme Court said that, not only was Mr. Scott not a citizen because of his African decent, but that as a slave he was property? (http://www.infoplease.com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar09.html) Of course not. Those who are anti-abortion fighting for the rights of the child that has been conceived. As stated above, the choice has been made before conception even happens. When a woman has sex, regardless of protection, there is the chance that she will get pregnant. That is the consequence of her choice. Sexual freedom still requires responsibility and living with the consequence that sometimes is conception is one of the responsibilities that must be lived with. Lots of these women who clamor for sexual revolution refuse to accept the responsibility of that same sexual revolution. We want the same rights as men? Well, men have to deal with the consequences of their sexual actions as well, which sometimes include being a reluctant father, paying child support, etc. Would it be fair to say that the father shouldn’t have to pay child support because he didn’t want the child and it is his choice whether or not to claim the child? Of course not. The hypocrisy in the abortion argument that must tie into sexual revolution (you see, Just Curious, THOSE are related topics) is astounding.

  • sagemoon January 23, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Getting an abortion is a person’s fault, not the law’s fault. Hate the person not the law. Dang extremists. Life is about choices. I would like to choose to have the government allow me control of my own body.

  • Aaron Judd January 23, 2015 at 8:42 am

    This is such a tough topic. I like to say I’m open minded to being pro-choice. And then when I read about how the process goes in some of the later “legal” abortions it makes me believe there is a little more life going on in there than I originally believed. There’s a part of me that wants to say, making it illegal is just one more thing we allow the government to tell us to do and not to do with our bodies. But at the same time we have steep laws protecting children from abuse in many forms that I’m glad exists and have no problem supporting….so why is this different, I ask myself. I used to believe that a child was only a child once it was born but it seems like that thought is changing quickly with me. Whether or not you are a spiritual person there is something that speaks to the statistic showing that women were 6-7 times more likely to commit suicide after an abortion as apposed to giving birth. That is a sharp difference so I think there is more going on here than just simply cut and dry decision making.
    I think its unfair to say “you could have chosen not to have sex..” when BILLIONS of dollars in advertising and media all push youth towards more sexual promiscuity and not nearly enough schools teaching contraceptive methods early enough. The odds are stacked against the teens and 20’s that the answer isn’t well you knew better.
    Ugh such a tough topic.

    • sagemoon January 23, 2015 at 9:10 am

      You make some good points.

  • Anon January 23, 2015 at 8:45 am

    The pro-abortionist that was quoted bothers me a little. More because he lumps all women’s issues together. No sir, you cannot do that. Each issue must be fought separately so that proper solutions can be achieved. Standing up and barking that abortion rights have anything to do with fair pay is just plain stupid. It’s like the doctor coming in and saying, “Well, you have a heart condition and gangreen, so we’re going to give you an aspirin for treatment.” If we lump all the issues together, a mediocre solution will arise that will, in all reality, solve nothing. In your haste to be “supportive,” you have actually damaged the position of women’s rights.

    • Just Curious January 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Ah, but you are wrong, Anon. These issues do all belong together. They’re all related to the way women have been treated in this country for so long. Diminished, demeaned and deprived of the equal chances to be who they are. Every one of them is another of God’s children, if you want to take the religious tack. Every woman deserves the same opportunities that every man deserves, but in a patriarchal society, this is not likely to happen. Utah’s patriarchy is even more bent on depriving women of these opportunities. Why else do Mormon women who speak up or seek a role in the leadership find themselves being shown the door. Abortion and pro-choice issues are but one of a tangled knot of concerns for women in our society. You may believe they’re separate, but you are wrong. And you are clearly not a woman.

      • Anon January 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        Unfortunately, Just Curious, saying that they are tangled together is wrong. You have been duped just like the man above. Women’s rights, in order to be the same as a man’s (as you put it), needs to be attacked piece by piece, not in one sweeping motion. Many of the people who support the issue as you do don’t seem to understand this. If it isn’t approached specific issue to specific issue, then we get sweeping legislation that does lip service, but no real good. While the issues can be put together on a list of things that need to be addressed, each issue still needs its own, specialized attention and not to be lumped together as one issue.

        • Just Curious January 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm

          Anon, I respect your opinion but believe we will just have to agree to disagree.

  • mo ferguson January 23, 2015 at 9:19 am

    I am not pro-abortion, nor am I anti-abortion. But I am pro life. Weather the life be that of a mother-to-be or a baby to be. Yes it is the womans right to choose. However, what I really oppose is the use of my (or any)tax dollars to finance an abortion. I STRONGLY oppose the use of taxpayer dollars for birth control for women who choose to engage in unprotected sexual relations. Many pro abortion supporters cite a womans right to birth control. What they don’t and won’t tell you is that they strongly support birth control be paid for by the federal government (aka: taxpayer dollars). Why would they feel it is my obligation to pay for a womans birth control? They will never ever give you an answer to that question. So I will publicly call on any one of those protesting democrats to explain why they feel it is the taxpayers duty to pay for a womans birth control. Dorothy Engleman???? Anyone????

  • Just Curious January 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Worthington’s words are absolutely right. No one talks about being pro-abortion. It’s about being pro-choice. No man – let me repeat that so it’s clearly understood – NO man ever has to make a choice as difficult and serious as this regarding what happens to his body. The men who understand this are those who support a woman’s choice. The men who do not understand this simply believe a woman’s body is for making babies and do not understand – or care about- the many other things that happen to a woman’s body when she is pregnant. No man would put up with anyone else dictating or making laws about matters related to his body. And no man should be making laws or dictating such matters with regard to women. The Supreme Court decision made this clear. Live with it.

  • Candy January 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    It makes me sick to think someone would kill a child. Have the baby and give it to someone who will love it. You chose to have Sex, so deal with your consequence, suck it up and give the child a better life. Not murder it

    • koolaid January 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      What about rape victims? Is that a choice? Just because in Utah the victims are made to feel they are at fault for being raped, doesn’t mean the victims have to birth a rapists child.

      • Mean Momma January 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        I have to disagree with your comment KOOLAID. I have been date raped and I have also been gang raped during my college years here in St. George, and I have to say that I was never made to feel like it was my fault. You should not be talking about things you know nothing about, but I guess this is just another “Utah related problem” that you think you are a know-it-all about. You are wrong.
        Oh and before you make a wise ass comment about being raped in St. George, let me inform you that this happens all over college campuses across the country, unfortunately. Also the guys who raped me were not from Utah only living here on scholarships.

  • mo ferguson January 23, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Funny how we don’t hear the pro abortion group comments. It is a matter of choice. And choices have consequences. So “woman up”, those women who get pregnate and consider what to do about their babies. You choose what you want to do, and do it. Keep in mind you will live with the results of your choices for the rest of your life.

    • Just Curious January 23, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      It’s not about pro-abortion. It’s about pro-choice. See other comments above.

      • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 10:58 am

        JUST CURIOUS, I respect your opinion, but you are wrong about what the issue is about. The prochoice question is necessarily antecedent to the abortion question. This is because determining the status of the child, baby, zygote, embryo, fetus, choose what term you will, is necessary to answer the question about a woman’s right to choose. Obviously, at the stage which the ‘it’ becomes human and separate, the woman’s right to choose ends, and it becomes a question of her safety, which depending on the particular situation may or may not be coequal with the safety of the child. Most people who feel the need to weigh in on this question do not sufficiently research this overwhelmingly documented area of biology for themselves; I have. As a matter of fact, a number of us on this site have debated this every year when Roe v. Wade comes around, and rather than rehash old arguments, here is the link to some those arguments in the archives. I hope you will take the time to consider those questions from a biological perspective. Regards.
        http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2013/01/22/samodt-demonstrators-converge-before-planned-parenthood-stgnews-videocast/#comments

        • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 11:33 am

          Hey Joyce, is it my browser, or did my comment get the side eated? I am checking it on Google chrome and internet explorer, but it looks like it got sideswiped and all frickacked up.

          • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic January 24, 2015 at 11:51 am

            I take that back – I see what you mean. I’m off to find a wizard. I’ll get it resolved for you, RoyJ.
            Joyce

        • Just Curious January 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm

          Roy, I’ve probably done as much research as you on this question and, just as the comments here come down on two sides, so do the answers from the biological community. As with most arguments, you can always find evidence to support your side – statistics, anecdotes, what have you. Those who support the pro-life side believe one thing and have their support. Those who support the pro-choice side believe another thing and have their support. It’s kind of like arguing religion or politics. So we all get to have our say, but there’s no one absolutely right answer. Even those in the biological community will tell you that if they’re honest and if you’ll listen with an open mind. I hope your research extended outside Utah because there are some pretty strong biases here that will skew any information. I’m sure you won’t agree with that statement, but there again, we’ll disagree. Respectfully…

          • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm

            JUST CURIOUS, I am afraid I am going to have to call your bluff and ask you to provide some supporting documentation for the pro choice community. I will certainly take a look at it if you can provide it. I have been studying this subject for quite some time now, and I have yet to see a serious argument put forth by even one group of research minded biologists on the pro choice side. So far as I am concerned, this is not one of those issues where there is a doubt amongst those who know. Maybe you can show me otherwise.

          • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm

            I’d also like to mention that if you would like I can refer you to at least one sidewalk advocate who is also a physician, who is fully able to familiarize you with unbiased and straightforward facts. Regards.

          • Just Curious January 24, 2015 at 10:32 pm

            Roy, you have your mind made up, so I’m just going to walk away from this one. It’s my choice. If you want to believe you won the argument, that’s okay with me. As I said before, we’ll simply agree to disagree. But this is like trying to have a conversation with a born-again bible thumper and the best thing to do in that case is walk away.

  • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you, Joyce, you the best!

    • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Yep, that looks much better, Joyce, thank you!

  • Roy J January 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    hmm, actually it only seems to be full when I access the opinions through the side bar.

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