By Supporting Women
In the April 2021 General Conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen taught, “If an unanticipated child is expected, let us reach out with love, encouragement, and, when needed, financial help, strengthening a mother in allowing her child to be born.” From these words I learned the following principle: the key to preventing abortions is supporting women.
Utah’s Republican-led legislature has not followed this principle for many years. Utah’s trigger law, an abortion ban that has taken effect now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, doesn’t support women. More importantly, it doesn’t prevent abortions. We just saw how an abortion ban in Texas flooded clinics in Oklahoma. The same thing will happen in Utah. As long as Colorado and Nevada keep abortions legal, all a ban in Utah will do is add an expensive out-of-state trip to a desperate woman’s situation.
Because abortions are acts of desperation. Getting an abortion is no one’s life goal. Abortions are always, always a symptom of larger problems—most often, socioeconomic ones. And the key to preventing abortions lies in solving those larger problems. If I am elected to the Utah House of Representatives, I will do just that. I will prevent more abortions—I will save more babies’ lives—than any Utah Republican has done in decades. And I will do it, as Elder Andersen taught, by supporting women. Here’s how:
Require all health insurance offered in the state of Utah to cover all contraception, pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum costs 100%—no deductibles, no co-pays.
Ensure that any woman without health insurance can qualify for Medicaid during her pregnancy.
Provide a free “baby box” of necessities to every Utah mom who wants one, so she can get her baby through those crucial first few weeks.
Make up to 24 weeks of paid family leave tax refundable for employers—so that parents can care for new children without having to rush back to work.
Expand the availability and affordability of child care, especially for very young children.
Strengthen domestic abuse laws so that a woman in a bad relationship doesn’t have to fear for her child as well as herself.
Reform adoption and foster care laws so that any woman who still can’t take care of a baby can know with certainty that her child will grow up in a loving home.
Preserve the reasonable exceptions that allow abortions to be performed in cases of rape, incest, fetal nonviability, or when the life of the mother is at risk.
By supporting women, these policies will not only prevent abortions, but will strengthen all Utah families—including those who would never consider getting an abortion. And they will reduce abortions whether or not the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
I have two little girls who will one day have to make decisions about childbearing. When that day comes, I want the right decision—the one to keep a child—to be the easiest one for them to make. To make that future a reality, we need to change the Utah Legislature today.
I’m Daniel Craig Friend, and a vote for me is a vote to prevent abortions by supporting the amazing women in our lives.