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Opinion

Readers React: What it was like to leave the country for an abortion before Roe vs. Wade

If a reshaped Supreme Court tosses abortion decisions back to states, several would move fast to outlaw the procedures
Supporters of legal access to abortion rally alongside anti-abortion activists at the U.S. Supreme COurt on March 2, 2016.
(Olivier Douliery / TNS)

To the editor: Before abortion was legal, my 45-year-old mother accidentally became pregnant to the horror of both her and my stepfather, who had heart problems.

My stepdad drove my mom and her mother to Mexico for an abortion. My mom insisted he go home. The next night there was a phone call. Mom was bleeding, and it could not be stopped. My stepdad drove down to pick her up and brought her home.

No doctor would help her. It took her a month to regain her strength.

My sister, on the other hand, was married and happy to get pregnant, but two months into the pregnancy she contracted measles. The beginnings of a human inside her turned into a blob, but her doctors didn’t help.

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That time, my mother drove my sister down to Mexico. I’m sad to think those days could come back.

Judy Higa, Culver City

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To the editor: Recent events have brought the unpleasant realization that much of the terrain that women gained in the last 50 years can be lost in the near future. As the virtue of moderation loses ground to a system that points toward totalitarianism, the time has come to take action against forces that threaten our freedoms.

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We are painfully reminded of Ronald Reagan’s warning in 1964:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: The argument, apparently bought by the Supreme Court’s majority, is that California’s Reproductive Fact Act unconstitutionally forces speech on faith-based pregnancy centers by requiring them to notify their clients that abortions are available outside their centers.

Where there is a compelling state interest, California can “compel” speech. Examples include warnings on cigarette packs, whiskey bottles and elsewhere. Would the court find this compelled speech in violation of the 1st Amendment? Would the tobacco and alcohol producers voluntarily declare the dangers posed by their products?

This brings us to the pregnancy centers. Do they have the right to deny information to persons seeking their services? Can one really give informed consent if one is unaware of all the options? Middle-class, educated patients likely know about the availability of abortion and other options, but what about poor, young or less-educated people?

I find it reprehensible that anyone seeking to serve a patient would deny information vital to her health under the cover of religion.

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Haskel Simonowiitz, Laguna Woods

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To the editor: Just for the record, women don’t get pregnant by themselves.

Cindy Nexon, Agoura Hills

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