Readers React: Women shouldn’t have to explain to doctors why they need an abortion

Abortion rights activists rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday.
(Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: I am deeply troubled by the letter from the anesthesiologist who uses her personal judgment to determine which patients deserve her services.

How does she decide that an abortion is for convenience? Do patients have to provide their private histories? Does a broken condom result in an abortion of convenience? Or would a teenage girl assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend have to divulge this information even while terrified of the consequences?

And while there may be lots of alternative care providers in Los Angeles, what happens in smaller communities? Should those women and girls be subject to the personal whims of their care providers?

Finally, should all doctors be able to decide treatment based on personal biases? Can patients who have the wrong diet or don’t exercise be denied care because they are at fault?


This is a very slippery slope when doctors don’t act in the service of their patients but according to their own preferences.

Alice P. Neuhauser, Manhattan Beach


To the editor: I have discussed the abortion issue at length with the women in my life, and it seems to me we are all missing a key point.


Abortions result mostly from unwanted pregnancies. The circumstances of those pregnancies vary, but unwanted they remain. This raises the question: Why do women get pregnant when they do not want to?

The antiabortion movement will not succeed by making the procedure illegal. The only way to eradicate abortion is to make it unnecessary, and the only way to do that is for women to get pregnant only when they want.

How do we accomplish that? This is a discussion worth having.

Carlos Anwandter, Gardena

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