Get Informed On Abortion Issues

Sept. 30, 2019 Editor, The News-Gazette:

Jan Lowry and Douglas Smith recently submitted opinions on late-term abortion.

With this difficult topic, their choice to present only opinions rather than truthful information exacerbates the challenge of individuals to make informed decisions. It is important to be aware of all possible facts on an issue. It seems easier to generate sympathy for a fake scenario than for a real pregnant woman faced with a devastating decision.

There are many medical reasons a woman might need an abortion later in pregnancy; this decision should be made with trained doctors. Health changes of a fetus or pregnant woman may not be known until third trimester tests reveal fetal abnormalities or non-viability.

Doctors do not provide abortions to women in active labor but Mr. Smith chose to use the inflammatory word “infanticide” to promote his opinion. Late-term abortions are rare; just 1.3 percent of all abortions occur at or after 21 weeks’ gestation. This percentage has not changed in 23 years so clearly we do not have a “societal evacuation of empathy” as Mr. Smith implied.

Jan Lowry neglected to inform readers that women in Virginia currently can terminate a third-trimester pregnancy if three physicians certify the procedure necessary to prevent her death or to stave off “substantial and irremediable” harm to her mental or physical health. Last February, a change to existing legislation that would make the procedure legal with only one physician’s approval was proposed.

In life-threatening situations where time is critical, it can be difficult to gather three physicians to make a timely decision. The doctor would still need to confirm the woman’s physical or mental health is at risk. My intent here is not to offer my stance on this topic but to urge writers to submit truly informed opinions with documented facts!

DEBBIE POLLARD

Lexington

The News-Gazette

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P.O. Box 1153
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-3113

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