In his op-ed regarding the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act [“The real war on women,” June 1], Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) claimed that Planned Parenthood is “okay with exterminating a child . . . simply because she’s a girl” and referred to a coordinated hoax patient campaign that used highly unusual patient scenarios in an effort to discredit Planned Parenthood’s services, mission and values.
Putting aside the fact that the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act would have imposed harmful restrictions on women’s health care and would have interfered with the doctor-patient relationship, Mr. Smith asserted that Planned Parenthood supports sex-selection abortions. This is simply untrue. Planned Parenthood opposes sex-selection abortion. Planned Parenthood organizations have extensive guidelines and training requirements for all staff. If any Planned Parenthood organization learns of an instance where a staff member has not fully followed policies or procedures, it will take swift action and remedy the situation.
Racism and gender discrimination are serious issues in our country — and they require solutions that address the underlying issues that promote bias. The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act would have cast suspicion on doctors who serve communities facing the greatest health disparities, many of which are minority communities.
Whatever one thinks about abortion, it is a deeply personal and complex decision that is best left to a woman, her family and her doctor.
Chloë Cooney, Washington
The writer is director of global advocacy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.