With regard to the letter by Joanna and Dewey Mayes from 2 September concerning abortion, it seems only fair that a different view should be stated. Joanna and Dewey are excellent people, and their view is not uncommon, but I wish they had stated the sources for their claims and statistics.
I have been a proud member of Planned Parenthood for decades, as was my mother. The organization was founded to prevent the need for abortion; Margaret Sanger founded it because her own mother died in a botched illegal procedure after bearing many children, and Margaret devoted her life to working against the need for abortion, first of all by making contraception more available, for which she was jailed.
In my own extended family I know of two women who had abortions which I learned of only many years later after I was grown. Both were good mothers to children they already had; both were good churchwomen; both were intelligent, sane, kind and well-balanced people. But both, for reasons I can guess at, looking back, simply could not contemplate having another child. They knew best what they were able to take on, and I respect their choices. And if I do, I can't be supercilious about women who find themselves in much more painful circumstances.
No woman wants to be in the position of making this decision. Of course women who do not want to be pregnant should not get that way in the first place, though that does not always depend on their choice, regardless of what Mr. Akin says. Very few women regard having an abortion as a trivial matter. But no matter what any of us do, there will be abortions - either criminal, possibly dangerous ones or clean and safe ones that leave a woman able to have children when she feels better able to. This is why I support Planned Parenthood, which I suspect has done more to prevent abortion than any other organization. Yes, it does perform them, so that women will not be seeking out worse alternatives.
As someone has said: When abortion is criminalized, only criminals will perform abortions.
Dr. Karen L. Black