Access to legal and safe abortion care must be preserved. Where access is denied and criminalized, hospitals will once again need to open their floors for “septic services,” and women will once again unnecessarily die.

Michael R. Berman
Woodbridge, Conn.
The writer is an obstetrician.

To the Editor:

Re “My Duty to Patients Includes Offering Second-Trimester Abortions,” by Alison Block (Opinion guest essay, May 7):

Thirty-five years ago, I had a late second-trimester abortion. Thirty-five years later, I still grieve for that lost pregnancy. It was the hardest decision that I have ever made, with the most long-lasting impact. Nobody needs to tell me about the implications of that decision. I live them every day.

As Dr. Block states, second-trimester terminations are emotional and complex. I wanted this baby. However, when I was told through prenatal testing that this baby was not neurologically normal and after many sleepless nights, I flew to an abortion clinic in Boulder, Colo., where pro-life advocates threatened my life because of my right to choose.

Perhaps I was too scared or ill equipped to bring this child into the world. That, however, is for nobody to judge or decide but me! How dare anybody be able to tell me what my psyche, my body or my life can handle.

I am grateful for the work that doctors like Dr. Block do and the right to choose, however painful the choice.

Patti Sayre
New York

To the Editor:

Forty years ago, my husband and I became parents because a teenage birth mother chose us to raise her baby. She could have chosen to abort the child, but she chose adoption. The point is she had a choice and it was one she made, not one made for her. Is placing a baby a heart-wrenching decision? You bet it is! So is having an abortion!

But as a teacher who worked with children placed in foster care because of neglect and/or abuse, I have seen what happens when children feel unwanted and are neglected. Depression, anger, dysfunctional relationships and a life of crime often result.



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