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Writer belittles difficult choices

Date published: 7/13/2014

Letter-writer Jim Reid ["Abortion might cost everyone," June 29] states that he doesn't know much about the abortion issue, then goes on to demonstrate that he is absolutely right!

He looks up an estimate of the number of abortions due to a threat to the woman's health, then jumps to the outrageous conclusion that the remainder are because of "inconvenience."

A disaster pregnancy is not an "inconvenience"; it is an overwhelmingly life-destroying crisis of the first order.

And the "abortion should be banned because the embryo might turn out to be a great person" argument isn't valid. If the embryo might turn out to be another George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Albert Einstein, it might also turn out to be another Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer or Adam Lanza--or even a Hitler or an Osama bin Laden.

And, some genius is not going to find a "cure" for the common cold or breast cancer. Pioneers like Dr. Edward Jenner and Dr. Jonas Salk did not find "cures" for, respectively, smallpox and polio. What they did find was a way to prevent them.

The cumulative work of many scientists is someday going to result in finding ways to prevent cancer, but it will take many decades, and perhaps centuries.

Why do women have abortions? If you leave out the abortions due to threat to the woman's health, rape and severe fetal abnormality, and if you leave out a few abortions by married women who feel another child would be disastrous to the family they already have, most abortions are done on women who know that if they did bear a child, they would have to "give it away."

Many women are not willing to go through nine months of discomfort, followed by 12 to 70 hours of agony, to bear a child they must give away, because of a one-in-a-million chance (using Mr. Reid's estimate) that the embryo might turn out to be a brilliant inventor or scientist.

Also, anyone who thinks that giving away a child is no big deal should be sentenced to watch the movie "Philomena" at least twice.

Sarah Marcus