I read with empathy Diane J. Horvath-Cosper’s Nov. 1 Outlook essay, “Abortion providers are always at risk,” concerning intimidation and violence against abortion providers. I, too, am an abortion provider. I stopped Googling myself a long time ago because people are vicious online. And I am angry when I am accosted — often by name — outside the clinic where I work.
My job is to provide contraception and safe abortion care for women who freely decide that they want those services. The women I care for come from Main Street America. Last week, my patients included a 16-year-old high school student, a 30-something mother who is going through a divorce, a mother of four whose family is complete and a college student. Each had been trying not to become pregnant; most used a modern contraceptive method that failed.
I have learned to live with hostility from those who disapprove of what I do and will continue providing compassionate health care. Nevertheless, we abortion providers need more average Americans — our patients — to stand with us and to speak out against those who wish to make abortion illegal or inaccessible in this country.
Nicola Moore, Cambridge, Mass.
Arguments about legality and constitutionality do not prove moral justification. Rights from the Constitution are not, intrinsically, just or unjust. They are argued, considered and put into place by fallible human beings, whose justification is interpretive, often with rationally argued dissent.
It is not unreasonable for many individuals — of whom I am one — to continue to object to the legality of abortion, as we consider it to be morally and ethically wrong. This position is corroborated in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Our nation’s legal opinion on the subject is 42 years old.
Without condoning those who harass or threaten Diane J. Horvath-Cosper, who wrote about being an abortion provider , I cannot see how she can be surprised by the passionate resistance of some individuals. Some resisted violently and some nonviolently to bring about necessary ethical changes to free slaves and to provide rights to women.
I have chosen to be nonviolent, and I do not support violence or illegal activities. But I can well understand the moral anguish that compels such actions in certain individuals.
As a pediatrician, I have no doubt that Dr. Horvath-Cosper does much good in other medical arenas. However, I would ask her to consider whether it is at least conceivable that she is taking away lives in a vulnerable stage of development. I, along with many scholars and ethicists, believe so.
Ron Bashian, Arlington