A Utah community is taking steps to affirm life and formally declare its opposition to abortion and euthanasia. Utah County, the state’s second-largest county, passed a resolution which states that life begins at the moment of conception (fertilization) and declares support for restrictions surrounding abortion and euthanasia.
Members of the Utah County Commission passed the resolution unanimously on June 25. While the nonbinding resolution carries no legal weight, it establishes the local government’s stance on this contentious issue at a time when abortion legislation is at the forefront nationwide.
“This is a resolution. It’s not a law,” said Commission Chairman Bill Lee, who introduced the resolution. “It doesn’t have the force of law behind it, but I can tell you now: if I had the ability to do something that had a little bit more of the force of law, I would. But I can’t. But if I can’t stand up now, who will? And if it’s not now, when?”
The resolution clearly demonstrates its support for all members of society. “Utah County declares itself a safe haven for all of its citizens,” it states, “including the unborn, the elderly, and the mentally and physically impaired.” It also affirms its support for adoption instead of abortion. “We support efforts to educate and support parents in choosing life-affirming options for their unborn children,” it says.
More than a dozen pro-life supporters were on-hand to applaud the commission’s actions. “Some people say that it’s the law of the land and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Merrilee Boyack, chairwoman of Abortion-Free Utah. “But courageous people change laws. In fact, there was a day when slavery was the law of the land, and I don’t think anyone today would say ‘too bad, that’s the law’.”
As the resolution was discussed, several officials spoke out in its favor. County Commissioner Nathan Ivie revealed that his own mother was adopted after her birth mother decided against abortion. “My mother is with us today because her biological mom had the courage and the desire for her to live,” he said.
Fellow commissioner Tanner Ainge also voiced his support, describing how he was moved after his wife was rushed to the hospital because she feared she was miscarrying, but then discovered that she was carrying twins. “I can’t ever imagine the desire to electively terminate a life,” he said.
Utah County is the second community in the state to pass such a resolution. The city of Riverton recently enacted a similar declaration, calling itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
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