To the editor: As someone who who had an abortion in August 1974, one year after Roe vs. Wade, I feel qualified to write about the emotional effects of a woman who has had an abortion. (“Do women regret their abortions? Absolutely not!” Opinion, Jan. 15)
At that time I was single, in my early 30s and a teacher. In my cultural background, an unmarried woman having a child carried a deeply shameful social stigma. I knew that if my pregnancy became known, I would lose my job. Marriage was not an option.
I went to the local Planned Parenthood and was very clear about what I wanted. I sensed that the counselor was saddened by my decision — after all, it’s not as if I was 16. I had the abortion.
Every August I remember. I feel sad. I wonder how that child might have turned out. More than a decade later I married, and my husband and I created a family through adoption.
I regret that I had to make the decision I did, but I have never, ever regretted the decision that I made. I was grateful then that abortion was an option for me. I pray that other women will always have that option available should they need it.
Jan McFarlane, South Pasadena
To the editor: While I can respect Robin Abcarian’s fear that the constitutional right to an abortion might be overturned, her cheering of a recent study that shows a majority of women don’t feel guilt over their abortions is really missing the point.
We people are very good at drowning guilt under the waters of rationalization. To say the absence of guilt somehow proves the rightness of the act is at best a stretch.
While guilt over having an abortion may not be common, the same could be said of many who shoplift, lie or cheat on exams. Are we to assume such actions should therefore be protected?
Support abortion rights if you must, but make a better argument.
Brad Peters, Riverside
To the editor: Perhaps women who have made the choice to rid their bodies of fetal tissue have blunted their consciences to the extent that they don’t feel guilt or remorse.
I salute the brave women who choose to deliver their babies and offer them up for adoption to a loving couple.
Connie Veldkamp, Laguna Niguel