Letter to the editor: Best way to prevent abortion is to provide services

Editor’s note: This is in reply to Karlene Callahan’s letter in the Sept. 27 edition.
Dear Ms. Callahan,
Thank you for your comments on my open letter to Senators Murkowski and Collins.
I agree that it is not certain that Roe v Wade will be overturned. What is undeniable is that Senator McConnell and others in Congress have been working for decades to accomplish that goal, which is the source of their willingness to bend our system, perhaps beyond repair, to do so. It is also the reason that they are willing to ignore obvious false statements by Judge Kavanaugh, and the strong evidence that he is in fact a person who is capable of serious assaults on women. If such evidence does not rise to the level of criminal prosecution, it does not change the fact that, like Caesar’s wife in the Shakespeare play, Supreme Court Justices must be above suspicion, something Mr. Kavanaugh will never be.
Second, no one thinks abortion is a good thing, even those of us who believe it to be a woman’s right. However, is the best way to prevent abortion to make it illegal? You might want to google the statistics on the subject. You will find that, in countries and states in which abortion is legalized, the rate of abortion usually falls, often by a lot.
What can account for this? The best explanation is that the availability of abortion services is closely tied to the availability of both counseling and contraception services, which are virtually always made less available when abortions become illegal. What also drops with legalization are the deaths of women who have felt compelled to have the procedure. Do you not feel that full-grown human beings also have a Right to Life? Or should choosing to have an abortion be a crime punishable by death?
Finally, you asked how many lives I have ended. None, I hope. I spent my half-century of professional life, not as an Abortionist, but as a Pediatrician and Emergency Physician. I have seen my fair share of death and directly participated in the care of many people who have died. In every case I did my best. But I am human; I live with the fact that I can never be sure if, on another day, with another doctor, a given patient might have had a better outcome. Living with that question is part of the choice I made when I first walked into the Emergency Room.
I have written a book about those years. It is called “Patient Care” and is available through any bookstore. You might enjoy reading it, and I think your concern about my propensity to “end lives” might be answered.
Once more, thank you for your comments and the chance to reply.
Yours sincerely,
Paul Seward, MD

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