Utah restaurateurs wage food fight for abortion access
A coalition of Salt Lake City restaurants and food vendors is joining a food fight to support reproductive rights in conservative Utah.
What's happening: 25 food businesses will gather for an upcoming fundraiser, serving small plates, libations, set to live music and a silent auction on June 11 at Publik Coffee Roasters in SLC.
By the numbers: All proceeds go toward Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the Utah Abortion Fund, event organizer Evan Francois said. The goal is to raise $100,000.
- The Utah Abortion Fund provides financial support to help women access safe abortions.
Context: Francois, who owns a catering company, conceptualized the idea last year to organize local food vendors amid Utah's growing efforts to prohibit abortion access across the state.
- "So many people were angry and frustrated that everyone wanted … to do their part," he told Axios, adding the event attracted about 700 people in its inaugural year.
The big picture: 63% of entry-level restaurant employees in the U.S. identify as women and nearly 70% are in mid-level positions, according to a National Restaurant Association survey released last August.
- Many service workers earn low wages, have no insurance offered by their employer and face decreased abortion access, per Eater.
Catch up quick: Utah's abortion trigger law went into effect last year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
- State lawmakers earlier this year passed another law that would ban abortion clinics statewide.
- Both laws are currently on hold pending litigation.
- Meanwhile, a 2019 Utah law banning elective abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy is in effect.
The latest: Francois expects about 1,000 attendees for this year's fundraiser.
What they're saying: Publik owner Missy Greis told Axios she was "devastated" after Roe v. Wade was overturned. After Francois approached her, she volunteered her space for the fundraiser.
- She said all vendors are donating their time and resources and won't pocket any funds raised.
- "They all care. It has been easy to get people to sign on and come together," she said.
The other side: Francois said the previous fundraiser did not draw protesters, and they aren't expecting demonstrators this year.
- He noted there will be security on site as a precautionary measure.
Details: Some of the restaurants participating in this year's event include: The Pearl, Urban Hill, Takashi and Central 9th Market.
- Tickets are $25 per person for the all-ages event.
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