Anti-abortion groups to counter Utah Satanists at reproductive rights rally

Editor's note: This story was mistakenly aggregated on Oct. 15 even though the event in question had already taken place. The Satanic Temple rally in Salt Lake City happened on Sept. 25. 

Anti-abortion groups are planning to counter The Satanic Temple reproductive rights rally in Utah on Saturday. 

The rally is the first time the Satanic Temple will be organizing in Salt Lake City in support of abortion access, Chalice Blythe, minister of Satan with the Satanic Temple, told 2 News in an interview

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“Our dedication to protecting bodily autonomy and scientifically-reasoned personal choice for our members remains steadfast,” the Satanic Temple said in a statement announcing the event.

"It's an affirmation of our stance and what our efforts have been in the area of religious reproductive rights," Blythe said. 

The event was originally supposed to take place in 2020 but was canceled due to the coronavirus. The group has been arguing it is their religious right to get abortions and abortion access is protected for members under the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.

Pro-Life Utah and Utah Patriots plan to protest the event, which Blythe said she expected, adding the groups have "a right to engage in their freedom to counter protest."

However, Blythe said the group has paid for security since it believes counterprotesters will have concealed weapons.

The two anti-abortions groups said in a statement they are protesting "to show that Utah citizens support legislation that protects the unborn—the innocent human lives that are targeted by abortion and pro-abortion legislation."

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“Utah is a life-affirming state. We believe that love, kindness and supporting women in crisis pregnancies, while protecting unborn life, is the way to move society forward,” said Executive Director of Pro-Life Utah Deanna Holland.

Both groups said they are “committed” to the counterprotest remaining peaceful, but they can not control if people decide to conceal carry as it is legal in the state. 

"Whether participants legally and peacefully carry is a right afforded to all Utah citizens, and is not managed by our organization," Holland told the local outlet.

The protests come as some Republican-led states have been passing laws that limit a woman’s ability to get an abortion. 

The Hill has reached out to the Satanic Temple, Pro-Life Utah and Utah Patriots for comment.