A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, Monday night, May 2, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico. It’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft Politico posted, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s secretive deliberation process, particularly before a case is formally decided. (AP Photo/Anna Johnson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Regardless of political affiliation, Utah Democrats are calling for women to join forces to oppose the draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v Wade.

But female hopefuls in the running in the June 28 GOP primary aren’t buying it.

“If Roe v Wade is overturned,” said former state legislator Becky Edwards, “the issue of abortion becomes an issue of state’s rights.

“At that point, both voters and representatives need to work together to ensure that this complex issue is handled with dignity, compassion and care.”

Edwards is one of two women in the running to replace incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

Lee captured 71 percent of 3690 delegate votes at the April 23 GOP nominating convention, but still faces competition from candidates who collected voter signatures to qualify for the primary ballot. They are Edwards and business leader Ally Isom.

In the 1st Congressional District, former Morgan County commissioner Tina Cannon is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) and former civilian intelligence officer Andrew Badger.

Cannon welcomes the draft decision as a “win for the sanctity of life.”

“The leaked Supreme Court decision regarding Roe v. Wade is the news that the pro-life movement have been waiting for and eagerly anticipating for nearly 50 years,” Cannon said.

“The battle to make abortion unthinkable will now become more intense,” she added, “as blue states seek to codify abortion until birth and red states seek to protect life from its very beginnings.

“As the discussion intensifies, it is crucial to have well-spoken women who are advocates for life.”

Roe v Wade is the controversial 1973 High Court decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion. In a draft decision by Justice Samuel Alito leaked by an unknown person earlier this week, Alito and colleagues Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas repudiated that ruling.

There have been more than 62 million abortions since Roe v Wade, according to Cannon, which gives the lie to the liberal advocates who insist that abortion is now safe, legal and rare.

“It has become a form of birth control,” she argued. “It is demeaning to the intelligence, capability and humanity of women to believe that we cannot find a better option for family planning.”

Cannon said that Utah must fund pregnancy resource centers to help women who are facing unplanned pregnancy and don’t know where to turn.

“We must support policies to aid families,” she added, “not tear them apart.”

“I respect the law of the land and the decisions handed down by the Supreme Court,” Edwards agreed.

Here in Utah, if Roe v Wade is overturned, the Legislature has already passed a so-called trigger law that was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2020.

Senate Bill 174 prohibits abortion in most cases, but still allows that procedure in cases of rape or incest, birth defects or if the mother’s life is at risk.

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