Shortly before Gov. Norm Bangerter signed Utah's new abortion bill last week, representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah met with Bangerter's chief of staff, Bud Scruggs, to convey their disapproval of the measure.

Following passage, the Episcopal Diocese of Utah issued a statement reaffirming the church's belief that questions surrounding abortion, reproductive rights and human sexuality should not be legislated.Referring to the Utah bill in particular, the statement said: "The legislation does not respect individual conscience, nor does it honor the responsibility of individuals to reach informed decisions. Rather it severely restricts the rights of individuals, and in particular, of women, to make decisions about their own bodies and child bearing.

"Thus this legislation is in direct opposition to the expressed counsel of both the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America."