The abortion pill: a threat to women and to children...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 24, 2000

The abortion pill: a threat to women and to children . . .

The Sun's article "FDA fuels abortion pill debate," June 12 on RU-486 could lead readers to believe that, from a medical standpoint, there are no reasons why RU-486 should not be approved and that it's a simple drug with virtually no side effects.

However, this is just not the case. Documentation proves that not only is RU-486 deadly for unborn children, it is dangerous for women.

RU-486 has a long list of side-effects and risks. Severe and extensive bleeding is common and sometimes lasts up to 40 days. Two percent of women have such severe bleeding they require surgery.

The Des Moines Register reported in 1995 that a woman who participated in the clinical trials of RU-486 in Iowa lost half her blood, needed a transfusion of four units of blood and nearly died.

In fact, the RU-486 abortion process puts one out of every 100 women in the hospital. Seventy-nine to 96 percent of users report pain that requires analgesics.

The former chairman of the company that produces RU-486 in Europe stated that the drug was an "appalling psychological ordeal." And its long-term consequences are just not known.

Unfortunately, the danger of the procedure and its effect on the health of the mother have been forgotten in the rush by pro-abortion advocates to expand abortion in the United States.

This is the first time in history that the FDA is considering a drug used to destroy life rather than save it.

If the FDA approves this deadly drug, women will suffer and children will lose their lives, because pro-abortion groups are playing politics.

Joe DuBay, Annapolis

The writer is president of Maryland Right to Life Inc.

. . . or a safe alternative for early-term abortions . . .?

As a gynecologist, I must endorse The Sun's views on the failure of the Food and Drug Administration to approve the abortion pill RU-486 ("Confusing the issues on morning-after pill," editorial, June 15).

In my training in New York City, before abortions were legalized, I observed the horrid results of amateur abortions.

On the other hand, RU-486, developed in France, has been widely used in Europe for decades and has been proved safe and effective for early-term abortions.

As The Sun noted, the FDA's suggestion that it publish names of physicians approved to prescribe this drug is troubling.

Anti-abortion violence and murder at abortion clinics is well-documented; such a list would imperil those whose names are on it.

Dr. William H. Brown, Phoenix

. . . but definitely not the `morning-after' pill

Unwittingly, The Sun in its editorial "Confusing the issues on morning-after pill" (June 15) demonstrated just how widespread the confusion really is.

Whoever wrote the headline was not aware of the distinction between RU-486 and the so-called "morning-after pill."

The morning-after pill (often called "emergency contraception") is a concentrated dose of contraceptives taken within 72 hours after intercourse to prevent fertilization of the egg or inhibit implantation after the egg has been fertilized.

RU-486, on the other hand, is a genuine abortion pill that's effective during the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

It is easy to see how the morning-after pill, having languished in obscurity for 30 years, earned the title "the nation's best-kept secret."

Dan Lynch, Baynesville

`Doonesbury' belonged on the editorial page

Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" cartoon in last Sunday's Sun belonged on the editorial page, not in the comics.

The hatchet job Mr. Trudeau did on Texas Gov. George W. Bush was a textbook example of left-wing propaganda.

Richard T. Seymour, Baltimore

Ship's sad history resembles our own

There's a sad irony about The Sun's article "This tall ship has a bloody, brutal history" (June 18), which decried the sad way the Chilean government used the tall ship La Esmerelda in the 1970s.

If a ship can be said to have a soul, I am certain that La Esmerelda's still cries out in pain and outrage.

The reality, however, is that OpSail 2000 was designed as an apolitical celebration of the beauty of sailing and sailing ships, and a venue to bring together people of all nations, regardless of past animosities.

And truth be told, it is almost fitting that a ship with such a sad history is visiting Baltimore, a city with a history of more than 3,000 murders over the past 10 years.

We should not protest too loudly, lest such ships disinvite themselves because of our city's sad history.

Dave Pawloski, Baldwin

Not just the rich hurt by `death tax'

The Sun seems obsessed with death and taxes, as it has run two editorials on the subject within 30 days ("Death and taxes," June 19 and "Benefits of the death tax," May 30). But here are some facts The Sun didn't mention:

The truly rich leave assets to charity to memorialize themselves or their families, after their heirs are provided for; taxes are generally an afterthought for them.

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