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An insider's view of Planned Parenthood: no profit motive, no coercion

To the editor: As a registered nurse who worked at various Planned Parenthood clinics on and off for 28 years, I can say that the staff at these clinics are the ones protecting women, as all healthcare professionals must protect their patients. ("Abortion and the myth of 'protecting' women," Op-Ed, Aug. 21)

If a woman is unsure of her decision about her pregnancy, the staff offers the woman counseling on site or referrals out to professional psychotherapists. If there is any hint of coercion, the staff often spends quite a lot of time with the woman assisting her in understanding her options and how she may be able to continue the pregnancy. They will call the police if domestic violence is suspected.

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Signed consent is always scrupulously obtained. I participated in obtaining informed consent for fetal tissue donation for several years in the 1990s; most women wanted to donate, but those who did not were assured that it was their choice and that was fine.

There is no profit in any services Planned Parenthood offers, so there is truly no motive whatsoever for anyone at Planned Parenthood to pressure a woman to do anything.

Susan Wong, Orange

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To the editor: Amanda Marcotte writes that legislation seeking to limit abortions prevents women "from making choices about their own bodies." This argument, though often repeated, is simply untenable.

A woman has an abortion precisely because the fetus is a foreign body that will, without an abortion, be delivered as a human baby. The consequences of this developmental process and delivery may be undesirable or inconvenient, but to deny that the fetus possesses an independent ontology is sheer nonsense.

For the record, I write this as someone who is pro-choice but also — even stubbornly — pro-reality.

Peter Marston, Glendale 

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