Utah health prof who advocates abortion fails to disclose Planned Parenthood ties
- A University of Utah Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology who wrote an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune also has ties to abortion provider Planned Parenthood of Utah.
- The op-ed does not disclose his ties to Planned Parenthood, however.
- Students and Pro-Life Utah take issue with what they say is a lack of transparency.
Salt Lake City-based obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. David Turok, who is also an associate professor at the University of Utah Health, recently wrote an op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune about how people should be trusted when they decide to get an abortion.
Turok advocates for abortion, having on his resume one of the nation's largest abortion providers, Planned Parenthood. It's unclear whether Turok currently works for Planned Parenthood, but media reports suggest Turok worked at Planned Parenthood as recently as in 2018, and he was listed as the Director of Surgical Services in Planned Parenthood of Utah's 2012-2013 Annual Report.
Planned Parenthood of Utah did not respond in time for publication after being asked by Campus Reform if Turok is still employed there.
In his op-ed, both his title of professor and his ties to Planned Parenthood were absent. Instead, he is simply described as “an obstetrician/gynecologist practicing in Salt Lake City."
Turok suggests that abortion care is “extremely safe” and that the same techniques are used with miscarriages while expressing concern that Utah politicians are interfering with patient-provider relationships. He asserts that this will also “worsen the current state of medical care and jeopardize the future provision of care here because medical providers do not want to practice in such an environment.”
Utah lawmakers Sen. Curt Bramble (R) and Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R) have been pushing for a bill, criticized by Turok, to require "disposition of fetal remains" through cremation or burial.
Turok also stated that he may need to “coerce” a person to view an ultrasound, tell someone who is pregnant with an abusive partner that nobody would be able to provide her abortion care, and that he may even be forced to discuss burial or cremation with someone dealing with a miscarriage. He is concerned that he would not be permitted to honor the individual’s freedom to decide.
“During the 2020 legislative session we will likely see the introduction of an abortion ban at 6-weeks, a time before many of our patients even know they are pregnant, as well as forced ultrasound viewing,” the open letter stated.
The author of the open letter wrote that the legislation presented will bring harm to women and families who will not be “able to continue pregnancies” and seek to do abortions on their own.
“When 500+ Utah health care workers signed the letter opposing upcoming pro-life bills, many likely did not realize they were signing their name below the Surgical Director of Planned Parenthood of Utah, Dr. David Turok,” Vice President of Pro-Life Utah Deanna Holland told Campus Reform.
She then stated that Dr. Turok likes to play both sides by using his title of Associate Professor in the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to appear credible in circles where his Planned Parenthood title may be looked down upon.
“But he unapologetically touts his position at Planned Parenthood in circles where abortion is celebrated. He is the driving force in the killing of Utah babies and also in the training of other doctors in performing this atrocious act,” Holland said.
Students at the University of Utah had concerns about the professor’s stances on the legislation being presented.
“[Turok] argues that both the child and mother are important, then immediately disregards the life of the child. There are no other cases where we can choose to end a life for convenience, mental well-being or the ever undefined ‘best interest of someone else.’” Students for Life at the University of Utah told Campus Reform.
The group also explained that requiring mothers to view ultrasounds “can only reinforce the truth, that [the child] is a life being ended.”
“Nothing quite summarizes what Dr. Turok wrote than the two pregnancies he mentioned, one of which he said received an abortion, that one of those children will get to live out a full natural life and experience a fullness in life. Meanwhile, the other child was viciously deprived of this on the mention of freedom. No one has the freedom to deny a child the life it was supposed to have,” the group added.
The University of Utah Health Department declined to comment on the matter.
Campus Reform also reached out to Turok who did not respond in time for publication.
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