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Access to abortion is important, but don’t call it a ‘righteous’ cause

Access to abortion is important, but don’t call it a ‘righteous’ cause
Demonstrators rally against Alabama's new law banning most abortions in Montgomery on May 19. (Julie Bennett / Getty Images)

To the editor: The criminalization of first-trimester abortion is an imperious overreach on the part of state governments. First-trimester abortion is a medical procedure that should be undertaken only after thoughtful consultation by a woman with her physician and (if he is involved) the father.

However, I profoundly disagree with columnist Robin Abcarian’s use of the word “righteousness” when describing her position on the termination of a human life.

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As a society, we must support the rights of women to refuse coerced sex in any setting. We must make low-cost birth control readily available, including “morning after” oral contraception that can prevent pregnancy within three days of unprotected sex.

As a physician who specializes in anesthesiology, I have cared for unfortunate women who had to terminate pregnancies because of life-threatening heart conditions, as I would do for victims of rape or incest. I respectfully decline to provide services for abortions of convenience.

Karen Sibert, M.D., Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: Life does not begin at conception. Both sperm and egg are alive when they come together to create a zygote.

The antiabortion zealots who call themselves pro-life are advocating not for life, but for the soul, which is a religious idea. Because our Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, there should be no laws prohibiting abortion.

Susan Chamberlin, Santa Barbara

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