Petula Dvorak’s Feb. 15 Metro column, “Woman loses her life and then her privacy after abortion,” missed the mark. I am a big advocate of privacy. But I am a bigger advocate of honesty about how abortion is not always the easy and safe surgery proponents make it out to be.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2011 that at least 400 women died between 1972 and 2006 as a result of legal abortion in the United States (a conservative estimate because it doesn’t take into account the many states, including California, that do not report such deaths). Other side effects of abortion can include future preterm births, ectopic pregnancies, bleeding and laceration of the cervix, menstrual problems, inflammation of reproductive organs, bladder or bowel perforation and infection. In reviewing the Food and Drug Administration’s adverse events reports regarding chemical abortion, one will see that it offers its own share of problems.

Abortion is a deeply invasive surgery. It always has serious consequences for the baby and sometimes has serious consequences for the mother. Women have the right to know this.

Jeanne Monahan, Alexandria

The writer is president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund.