A letter to the editor from MRL president Pam Fichter:
Informed consent before abortion protects women
Regarding “Bills to “protect” women who seek abortions ignore the needs of women going to term” (May 6): Ilene Ordower and Lynn M. Paltrow agree with the need for informed consent before abortion, but their arguments include serious false assumptions and non sequiturs and reveal their true agenda.
The Missouri Legislature is considering legislation that would expand the 2003 Woman’s Right to Know bill by requiring that pregnant women are protected from being coerced into an abortion, are informed about their child’s development and ability to feel pain, are offered an ultrasound image of their unborn baby and are given information on alternatives to abortion. These provisions do not exist in Missouri law. Post-abortive women have testified that they were not provided with this information.
It is a non sequitur for the authors to oppose this legislation because they have other concerns about women’s health. Their arguments regarding Caesarean sections may be valid, but they have nothing to do with the issues addressed in the bills under consideration.
The authors reveal another agenda when they suggest that this legislation would “make it harder for pregnant women to gain access to abortion services.” The National Advocates for Pregnant Women in New York, of which Ms. Paltrow is the executive director, makes its pro-abortion position clear.
We agree that “concern for woman’s right to informed consent before an abortion is commendable,” and we urge the Missouri Legislature to pass either Senate Bill 264 or House Bills 46 and 434.
Pam Fichter — St. Louis
President, Missouri Right to Life