The Sun mis­char­ac­ter­izes late-term abor­tions

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

So, our friends on the ed­i­to­rial board of The Bal­ti­more Sun have of­fered their opin­ion on Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s State of the Union ad­dress, and to no one’s sur­prise, it was neg­a­tive. Even worse, they de­cided to fo­cus on the one area any right think­ing hu­man should agree on: Late-term abor­tions (“Trump goes full dem­a­gogue on abor­tion,” Feb. 6).

Gone are the days of Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s mantra of “safe, le­gal and rare.” Now, it’s abor­tions on de­mand and if you dare say any­thing about it, you are ac­cused of try­ing to con­trol women’s bod­ies.

There isn’t a lot of re­search on late-term abor­tion, but the best in­for­ma­tion we have comes from a study from Dr. Diana Greene Fos­ter, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at San Fran­cisco’s Bixby Cen­ter for Global Re­pro­duc­tive Health. It found wom­en­whogot later abor­tions were mostly un­mar­ried and many were al­ready moth­ers. A Con­gres­sional Re­search Ser­vice re­port pub­lished in April 2018 quoted Dr. Fos­ter, “[t]here aren’t good data on how of­ten later abor­tions are for med­i­cal rea­sons.”

The re­port goes on to state “Based on lim­ited re­search and dis­cus­sions with re­searchers in the field, Dr. Fos­ter be­lieves that abor­tions for fe­tal anom­aly make up a small mi­nor­ity of later abor­tion and that those for life en­dan­ger­ment are even harder to char­ac­ter­ize.”

The au­thors also have an is­sue with the pres­i­dent’s de­scrip­tion of the pro­ce­dure (us­ing de­spi­ca­ble lan­guage like “ripped from the mother’s womb”). I ask, would they be all right with a med­i­cally de­tailed and ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of the pro­ce­dure? Since at that point of ges­ta­tion the baby is too large for it to be passed nat­u­rally, it needs to be made, well … smaller, and that’s as far as I will go with that. The pro­ce­dure is hor­rific.

I will end with this question to the ed­i­to­rial board: If we all agree to al­low abor­tions in the case of rape or incest and the health or life of the mother, would you then agree that the re­main­ing in­ci­dents should be stopped? Of course you will not agree, so stop try­ing to use the 2-3 per­cent of abor­tions for those rea­sons as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the re­main­ing 97-plus per­cent.

Rex Fisher, Pasadena

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