Some people may think there is no debate about Utah's stand on abortion, but there are still some questions that need answers.
At least that's what citizens from Utah Valley told a state task force on abortion Thursday night in Orem.According to many of the more than 100 people who came to the public hearing, any reference to exceptions - cases in which an abortion may be performed legally - need to be removed from proposed legislation.
Leonard Jordan said, "Abortion is wrong; you need to stand up for what is right. There are people behind you, and you will not be left out on a limb."
Some told the task force to do "what you know is right" even if anti-abortion legislation has only a 10 percent chance of holding up in the Supreme Court. Mickey Cochran of Orem said, "You must do what is morally right, not what is politically expedient."
Democratic candidate for Congress Bill Orton came to make a statement because he said he was concerned that people should know his stand on the issue.
"As a public figure, I have an obligation to let people know my feelings," Orton said. "And they are my personal feelings."
Orton said he is against abortion but favors the exceptions because he said he understands that there should be a way to help in some cases.
Some of the definitions bother him, he said. What is serious physical injury to the mother and who can define that? Orton also said he knows his views are opposite of many liberal Democrats, but he "wants to have an impact on the Democratic National Platform" and change some of those liberal views.
Though most of those present were "pro-life," a few "pro-choice" advocates also testified.
One woman said that no matter what people say, there are still unwanted children who, because of one reason or another, never find a home.
"Most babies are not given up for adoption," she said. "We need to emphasize improving the quality of life for the children that we have now."
Another concern voiced at the hearing was that the task force might just be providing a token meeting for citizens.
Democrat Tim Moran, a state legislator from Spanish Fork, said, "We are listening to you and we are hearing you."
Johanna Flynn, from Spanish Fork, said she attended public hearings last year on sex education in the schools.
The main thrust of citizen input was that parents wanted to educate their children at home about AIDS, sex and birth control, she said. Then the task force went back to the Capitol and approved legislation for the schools to provide the programs, Flynn said.
"We don't want the same thing to happen. Are you listening to us?"
State Sen. LeRay McAllister, R-Orem, said they were listening. "We are definitely going to react to the testimony we hear tonight," he said.