Mailbag: Mifepristone ban would affect patients’ rights in Orange County

Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf.
Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf. The associate medical director of Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties writes that a court case that could end with a ban of the drug would affect residents seeking an abortion.
(Allen G. Breed / Associated Press)

A Texas federal court decision in the coming weeks could ban the use of mifepristone, a safe and common abortion drug that has been widely used for over 20 years. What many people here do not realize is that the Texas judge’s dangerous and unscientific position will limit Californians’ access to safe abortion care — and possibly to other lifesaving treatments.

Nationwide, 50% of abortions are done with medication, but here in Orange County, it’s closer to 80%. As a doctor who cares for pregnant people across Orange County, I have seen firsthand what having access to safe, timely abortion care can mean to patients. Everyone should have the ability to make decisions about their own reproductive lives and futures, including the method of abortion that works best for their circumstances.

Mifepristone was approved by the FDA over 20 years ago and has a stellar safety rating — over 99%. This attack on mifepristone is strictly politically motivated and clearly shows that overturning Roe vs. Wade wasn’t enough for anti-abortion extremists who want to completely eradicate access.

Our doors at Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties are open, and we will provide the best treatment for any patient we see. But the consequences of this case go beyond access to one drug. It threatens the FDA’s authority over the approval process for medications and could have far-reaching consequences for patients’ access to other FDA-approved medications — and that affects everyone, not just those who are pregnant.

Dr. Shannon Connolly
associate medical
director, PPOSBC

It doesn’t take an Einstein (Albert or Rabbi Stephen) to see that the politicization of the interfaith group is coming not from the religious leaders of Huntington Beach, but from the rabid reactionaries that now maintain a majority on the Surf City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark being the most egregious of the egregious council quorum.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

Pacaso benefits Newport Beach

The Newport Beach City Council has recently taken up the issue of co-ownership. As a Newport Beach resident of 20-plus years and Pacaso executive, I feel compelled to share my perspective on what co-ownership means for our community.

I decided to move to Newport Beach because few other places offer such an incredible combination of environment and community. My wife and I love being able to raise our children in Newport. Our family is heavily involved in local sports and we spend a lot of our time in the local parks and beaches with our friends, kids’ teammates, and have loved getting to know our fellow community members. I firmly believe Pacaso and co-ownership will help us preserve what we love about Newport Beach by more effectively incorporating second home owners into our community.

It’s no secret that the pandemic created unprecedented demand for second homes in destination communities like Newport Beach. This demand causes a problem because the average second home sits empty for a majority of the year. As more homes become second homes, there are fewer full-time residents, and the existing character of a community changes. It’s a problem because the housing market becomes unsustainable as inventory is set aside for people who rarely visit.

Pacaso offers one solution. Through co-ownership, we take up to eight second home buyers and put them into one home. Those buyers were looking for single-family homes in the community. Instead, they share one luxury home.

Co-ownership is not new. It is an established practice. Pacaso is modernizing the process and bringing together buyers. Otherwise these homes operate similar to any other co-owned home, which are common in Newport Beach.

After the home is sold, Pacaso supports owners as a property manager and retains no ownership in the home. Owners hold 100% of the home collectively.

Pacaso owners have a vested interest in the home and the community as many of them have family that live in the area, run local businesses nearby their homes or have been visiting the community for years, often decades. These owners look forward to returning and cherish the destination on a deeper level, opposed to those who visit for a weekend getaway in a short-term rental, move on and perhaps never return. Pacaso owners are responsible families that abide by local ordinances and are committed to being good neighbors by following a code of conduct that supports a high quality of life in the neighborhood where they live. These policies restrict noise, prohibit short-term rentals in their homes, and regulate parking and trash.

Joe Maehler
Newport Beach

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