Conferences pull events from Salt Lake over abortion, transgender laws

Downtown Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Valley are pictured on Thursday, June 2, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Two conferences have pulled out of hosting conventions in Salt Lake due to Utah’s abortion and transgender athlete laws.

Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, the largest professional research ethics organization, would have brought 2,400 people to Salt Lake City in November according to Visit Salt Lake Vice President of Communications & Public Relations, Karen Boe.

After careful consideration, we have decided to transition PRIMR22 from an in-person meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, to an all-virtual meeting. This event will now take place on December 12-15, 2022.

— Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (@primrconnect) July 26, 2022

The American Society for Human Genetics expected 7,300 people in Salt Lake City in October 2028 said Boe.

She adds both Salt Lake conferences were canceled for the same reason — because of Utah’s abortion and transgender athlete laws.

Economic impact of loss of Salt Lake conferences

Visit Salt Lake used research from the Kem C. Gardiner Institute to estimate the cost. They said that conference attendees spend an average of $971 per visitor when they are in Salt Lake City.

Meaning that those two conferences totaling 9,700 people would have brought with them more than $9.4 million in average attendee spending.

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