The state of Utah needs to track and document the physical and psychological scars that abortions leave on women, members of the Salt Lake Christian Action Council told a state official.
LeeAnn Cheeley, organization spokesman, made the request to Gov. Norm Bangerter's aide, Mark Jones, this week while presenting the governor with a copy of a study of the psychological aftermath of abortion."Basically women in America have been in the dark too long," Cheeley said. Women have not been given information about the physical and psychological effects of abortion, she said.
Council members want the state to pass laws requiring that information about the psychological and physical effects of abortion be given to women seeking abortions. She said information presented by clinics and hospitals that perform abortions in Utah whitewashes the facts about the physical and mental scars abortions leave.
"We need to replace some of that information with some important facts," she said. "They need to be told this may be the only child they may be able to conceive, and psychologically it can be even more devastating."
The report presented by the council is part of a nationwide "Women at Risk" program says that women who have abortions may become suicidal, have eating disorders, experience grief, become sexually dysfunctional and tend to become dependent on drugs or alcohol.
The report, prepared by four psychologists and therapists, said that each year some 55,000 women will experience psychological effects after they have abortions. Of those, 10,000 will be hospitalized with psychological disorders.
The report also examines 88 studies of post-abortion effects and says that statistical analysis of most of the studies is flawed.
"Clearly we could be doing a great disservice to the American public if we take at face value the results of poorly designed studies and then make public policy on the `strengths' of flawed research," the report says.
The group also asked the governor's help in getting the state Health Department to release the names of institutions in the state that perform abortions and the number of abortions they perform each year. They also want the state to enforce its abortion informed-consent law despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling a similar law unconstitutional. Such a move could allow Utah to become a test case in overturning that decision and the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
While Jones agreed the climate in America and the makeup of the Supreme Court may be right for such a challenge, the state is hesitant to pursue such a case after running up costs during the Cable Decency Act court battle. He did, however, voice the governor's support for their cause.
"He (Bangerter) is totally against the Roe vs. Wade decision," said Jones. "He would wholeheartedly support the Supreme Court if they reviewed the case."