Utah leaders react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Jun 24, 2022, 9:07 AM | Updated: 4:40 pm
June 24, 2022: LEFT: Representatives of pro-life groups from Utah celebrate at the Utah State Capit...
June 24, 2022: LEFT: Representatives of pro-life groups from Utah celebrate at the Utah State Capitol. Photo credit: Lindsay Aerts. RIGHT: Those protesting the Supreme Court decision at the Utah State Capitol. Photo credit: Scott G. Winteron/Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY —  Utah leaders are reacting to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, made public today, to overturn the landmark abortion case, Roe V. Wade.

The reactions range from joy to anger, to concern.

Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill said in a statement that the legal terrain moving forward is “uncertain,” and that he will “enforce the laws of the state of Utah faithfully.

Today the Supreme Court overturned 50 years of precedent on which women and their medical doctors have relied when making difficult personal and medical choices. The legal terrain going forward is uncertain and we will study this decision and the full scope of its impact. As is my duty as an elected prosecutor and representative of Salt Lake County, I will enforce the laws of the State of Utah faithfully. If a case is referred to the SLCO DA’s office under a new state law criminalizing abortion services, we will analyze that matter based on the specific facts and evidence, the requirements imposed by Utah law at the time of the events reported, and my ethical obligation to pursue criminal charges only when sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction, the interest of justice will be served by the prosecution, and there is a reasonable likelihood of securing a conviction.”

Speaker of the House Brad Wilson tweeted this is “a monumental day in our nation’s history.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall spoke to what she called the “devastating” nationwide consequences.

In her response, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said the ruling would have the biggest impact on women without resources.

I am heartsick, but not surprised, by the ruling of the Supreme Court. I never imagined I would see such a devastating and unprecedented roll-back of women’s reproductive rights in my lifetime. I believe that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should not be made by government, but rather by the woman, her closest confidents, and her clergy with the input of mental and physical health advisors. The denial of rights here in Utah will be the greatest burden on women without resources and that is especially troubling. Women with means will have the resources to access abortion outside of our state yet those without support and financial resources will be the most impacted.”


Rep. Blake Moore tweeted he was “thrilled” with the court’s decision.

In a statement sent to media, Rep. John Curtis addressed the federal need to support all children.

I am proud to witness today’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of human life. I welcome the overturning of Roe v. Wade and appreciate that state policy makers can now enact laws that align with their values. Personally, I believe these laws should include the preservation of life, but I also appreciate that this ruling allows elected officials, closer to the people, to draft laws that align with their state’s moral views. We must, at a federal, state and local level, adopt policies that support children in foster care systems, ensure easy and affordable access to contraception, and provide robust resources for women with unplanned pregnancies,.

While I see this ruling as a cause for celebration, I am also cognizant of those who feel differently. As this difficult debate continues, I implore all Americans at all levels of government to use this opportunity to learn from one another, treat each other with compassion, and find ways to work together to solve our differences rather than push one another away.

 Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement that the U.S. Supreme Court decision returns the question of abortion to the states, and that his office will defend Utah’s trigger law involving abortion.

The Supreme Court pronouncement is clear. It has returned the question of abortion to the states,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D.Reyes. ”And the Utah legislature has answered that question. My office will do its duty to defend the state law against any and all potential legal challenges.”

Senate President Stuart Adams called the court’s decision a “monumental victory for human life,” and that his “commitment to life doesn’t end at birth.”

Today is a monumental victory for human life. Protecting those who cannot defend themselves is an obligation and duty we must all take upon ourselves. The Declaration of Independence clearly states we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, a promise the U.S. Supreme Court upheld today. My commitment to life does not end at birth. Every mother and child, regardless of age, health or dependency, deserves protection, respect and opportunity. It is imperative that we enhance resources, including eliminating barriers surrounding adoption and financial and material support to help mothers and children.”

Utah Senator Mike Lee, referring to Roe v. Wade, said “the national nightmare has ended.”

The national nightmare of Roe has ended. The Supreme Court of the United States has overturned the wrongly decided Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. While the 63 million lives lost to abortion since Roe can never be reclaimed, we can take heart that the Supreme Court has recognized that Roe v. Wade and its progeny belong next to Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott v. Sandford in the anti canon of Supreme Court history. I have never been prouder to have clerked for Justice Alito or the Supreme Court of the United States. I pray for national unity and for the safety of the justices of the Supreme Court who, in regard to this case, have faced unprecedented attacks. I thank God that the people of Utah and the United States are now free to enact protections for life and human dignity.”

Utah Governor Spencer Cox said he wholeheartedly supports the Supreme Court ruling.


Tina Cannon, a candidate for Utah’s first Congressional district, said the Court’s move was a win for the sanctity of life.

This news brings great responsibility to those who stand to protect the lives of the unborn. We must fund pregnancy resource centers, we must work nonstop to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy and do not know where to turn. We must support policies to aid families, not tear them apart. The Supreme Court’s decision that there is no federal right to abortion and that it is an issue for the states—to be decided and governed by those at that level—makes the Supreme Court an interpreter and defender of the Constitution, not an unelected and unaccountable group who legislates from the bench.”

Becky Edwards, a candidate for U.S. Senate, said “We must prove our devotion to the sanctity of life by moving forward with compassion.”

 In describing her support for Friday’s Supreme Court decision Ally Isom, a candidate for U.S. Senate, said she is pro-life, as well as pro-consent, pro-family planning, pro-responsibility, and pro-compassion.

 The Utah Democratic Party called the decision “earthshattering.”

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Utah leaders react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade