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Right to life should apply to the unborn

To the editor: Law professor Caitlin Borgmann disdains the political tactics of right-to-life advocates who use "personhood" legislation to get pro-choice groups to spend big money opposing these measures. ("'TRAP laws' are a threat in disguise to abortion rights," Op-Ed, Nov. 30)

But in the same piece in which she complains that pro-choice groups had to spend "inordinate sums" to defeat personhood measures, she says that most pro-life advocates know that personhood legislation won't succeed at the ballot box.

If that is true, why did the pro-choice groups have to spend so much in opposition?

Also, why does she think that the courts would "almost certainly" find personhood statutes unconstitutional? Adding rights is something the courts have been doing for decades on race, same-sex marriage, contraception, privacy, free speech and more. Why shouldn't personhood rights be granted to embryos?

In the classic progressive philosophy, the embryo is legally unprotected, having been stripped of rights much the same way that the Dred Scott decision stripped African Americans of citizenship in 1857. It seems to me that most progressives ought to fight for the embryo.

David Pohlod, Oak Park

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To the editor: Borgmann protests that "TRAP laws," or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, "masquerade as laws designed to protect women's health." Is that not what abortion rights legislation has done for the last four decades?

Tina Garcia, Claremont

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To the editor: Borgmann writes that "abortion is a far simpler and less risky procedure than many of those performed at surgical centers." She neglects to mention that pregnancies have many stages that require different kinds of abortion, some of which are not simple or lacking in risk.

An endoscopy at a surgical center is far less invasive than eliminating a nearly fully formed baby in the third trimester. All medical providers require regulation.

Kay Baur, Los Angeles

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