In Petula Dvorak’s Sept. 29 Metro column, “An abortion provider’s agonizing decision to quit,” Todd Stave made claims about abortion access in the United States that are misleading, dangerous and simply cruel.
Stave claims that “plenty of doctors” provide abortion and “all women have to do is know who to ask.” This just isn’t the case. Most abortion care is provided by independent abortion clinics, such as the one Mr. Stave sold to a group that has said it will close the clinic. Since 2012, nearly 30 percent of such clinics have closed.
When clinics close, patients are forced to travel farther, find overnight lodging, take additional time away from work (often unpaid) and find child care, increasing personal out-of-pocket costs. Patients are also forced to wait longer to access care and in some cases may not be able to obtain an abortion at all.
The tactics antiabortion extremists employ are intentionally designed to be costly and draining. Abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart, who worked in Mr. Stave’s clinic, knows this perhaps better than anyone. But it’s cruel for Mr. Stave to imply that there’s always someone else to provide care, when, as many women find out too late, there simply is not.
Nikki Madsen, Minneapolis
The writer is the executive director
of Abortion Care Network.