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Reader's View: Abortion proponents not always honest

The Jan. 24 "Women's Health Center's View" commentary, headlined, "Anniversary of the Roe V. Wade ruling marks struggle for reproductive rights," contained tired untruths and obfuscations.

The piece included the implication that Roe v. Wade was limited to first-trimester abortions. In fact, it addressed abortion across three arbitrarily defined trimesters, with different restriction criteria on each. Its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, handed down the same day, defined those criteria in such a vague way as to result in defacto abortion-on-demand at any point of pregnancy. Today's culture war exists in large part because of the illogic and sloppiness of these court decisions.

The piece also conjured up the specter of a "Dark Age" before such things were legal. It tried to warn younger generations that efforts to reform Roe v. Wade could return us to a time of death and injury as women seek operations on a black market. This is a modern fiction and fearmongering. Pre-1973 data show quite a different thought.

For example, Dr. Mary Calderone, a former medical director for Planned Parenthood, had this to say in a 1959 paper to the American Public Health Association: "Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physicians."

Dr. Calderone also said: "Aside from the fact that abortion is the taking of a life, I am also mindful of what was brought out by our psychiatrists — that in almost every case, abortion, whether legal or illegal, is a traumatic experience that may have severe consequences later on."

How sad that in 2018, having the benefit of significant advances in medical science speaking to the humanity of the unborn and the damage women suffer, that modern proponents of these causes can't be as honest in discussion.

Andrew Busam