Gov.’s abortion task force gains national attention
JEFFERSON CITY—As the Missouri General Assembly prepares for another legislative season, the Governor’s Task Force on the Impact of Abortion on Women hopes to hold its fifth meeting sometime in January even as national news outlets begin to analyze the task force’s influence.
Chairman Cindy Province, a member of Dardenne Baptist Church in O’Fallon, was interviewed by the Washington Times for a Dec. 19 article that traced the history of abortion in America since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the practice.
Gov. Matt Blunt, a Missouri Baptist, was quoted up high in The Times’ story giving his rationale for forming the task force, which consists of him starting with the simple yet profound question, “Does abortion harm women?” Blunt is perhaps the first governor in America to frame a question this way before proceeding to develop a task force that is poised to get at answers that perhaps have not been found since the Roe decision, which was predicated on the belief that making abortion a legal medical service would protect women’s health, according to The Times.
Blunt, whose home church is Second Baptist of Springfield, said he launched the task force with the presumption that abortion has a negative impact on Missouri children, women and men, because it is harmful to society.
“I hope other states will set up something similar and examine the harms to women from abortion,” Province said. “I hope Missouri can be a leader.”
In April, the Supreme Court raised the issue of abortion’s link to mental health problems in Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the ban on so-called partial-birth abortion, The Times reported.
“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained,” the court said. “Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”
CitizenLink, an online publication of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Focus on the Family ministry, is one of several outposts in the American media that keeps on following what the task force is doing.
“One of abortion’s biggest lies is that it doesn’t harm women,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior analyst for bioethics at Focus on the Family Action. “Women in unexpected pregnancies turn to abortion believing that it will end their pregnancy without risk to their own physical and mental health. We know from published studies and individual experiences that this is untrue.
“Each time the dangers of abortion are publicized, as will now be the case in Missouri, more women become aware of the risks they take with abortion.”