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Support legislation of compassion

August 16, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

State Senator, Lauren Book(District 32), has filed a bill calling for a Constitutional Amendment that would prohibit the Florida House of Representatives and Senate from voting on any bills that would affect access to abortions unless half of the legislature is made up of women.

As the options for effective birth control for women have increased in the past few years, the abortion rate has decreased. In 2018 there were 70,190 abortions reported in Florida. Forty-four percent were early chemically (pill) induced. Seventy-two are done at 6 weeks or less. Another 15% at 7-8 weeks. Fewer than .3% were done after 20 weeks and the later terminations were done for the health of the woman or due to fetal abnormalities.

Hospitals have very strict rules and requirements for determining which obstetricians/gynecologists are given Hospital Privileges to perform any surgery, including rare, safe, later-term abortions. Abortion is a medical/surgical procedure like any other and should be viewed as such. A fetus only has value if the mother decides it has value. Sorry. This one is her call. None of your business unless you are her. Certainly not the business of the male-dominated Florida legislature.

Florida abortion providers must report the reason their patient is having an abortion: continuing the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman's life or health; the fetus has an abnormality; the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape; elective.

Elective means that the woman DOES NOT WANT TO CONTINUE HER PREGNANCY. Her reasons are uniquely her own. Maybe she knows that she can not afford to feed, clothe, educate and provide a home for the children she already has. Maybe she knows that the alcohol, opioids or other drugs she consumed while pregnant would permanently harm her fetus. Maybe she is afraid of being beaten by a boyfriend or family member if they learn she is pregnant.

Women of all ages, races, marital status and reasons terminated their pregnancies. Many have already had children previously. Check out the statistics for yourself online.

We women and the men who love us should support each other. And respect that we all have our personal reasons for doing what we do in any given situation.

Over 72,000 Florida public school children were homeless during the 2016-17 school year. You say you care about life. What have you done to help them? What has the male-dominated legislature done to help them? Lee County schools provide free breakfast and lunch. Maybe we should add late afternoon snacks. This may be the only food they get.

Outlawing or making it more difficult for women to obtain safe, legal abortions will not help to solve the social problems of the homeless, hungry, drug addicted or poor. Let's no longer let the issue of abortion divide us. Let's agree to not make life more difficult for other humans than it already is.

How can we help each other? Supporting thoughtful, compassionate legislators like Senator Book would be a good start. I, for one, admire her integrity and appreciate that she can follow her moral compass and still be elected. I suspect many of my neighbors and friends feel the same.

Lynn A. Hagedorn, MD

Cape Coral



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