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Abortion Opponents Appalled by RU-486

August 21, 2000

Re "The Abortion Pill: Finally at Hand?" (Aug. 14), what a delightfully well-balanced pair of stories on the latest scheme for women to avoid the inconvenience of giving birth by easily aborting their unwanted offspring with pills.

A mere two paragraphs at the end of one story were allotted to "opponents of abortion," while 73 paragraphs matter-of-factly endorsed the controversial new pills and complained that women are being denied this wonder drug to flush their unwanted embryos like so many bowel movements.

How brutally ludicrous that among the selfish, callous arguments for these abortion pills is that they would save rural women an extra three-hour drive to their doctor's office. How wonderful that they won't be inconvenienced any more than necessary while they abort the children that they created.

--MARK LANDSBAUM

Diamond Bar

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As a Christian woman opposed to abortion for any reason, I was still surprised to read the following statement made by Francine Coeytaux of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health in Los Angeles: ". . . because of politics, we are falling way behind other countries in terms of access to medical abortion."

Approximately 1.37 million babies are aborted in the U.S. each year via surgery, yet you feel that we need RU-486 as an alternative method? Women who voluntarily abort their babies using RU-486 typically experience severe cramping, bleeding and nausea. Is this preferable to the surgical method? Do the proponents of abortion believe that this is a healthier, less traumatic way for the mother to end her baby's life? Why is adoption not mentioned as one of the choices for the unintended pregnancy?

--DIANE CASE

Corona del Mar

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In her article, staff writer Shari Roan quoted Francine Coeytaux, co-founder of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health, as saying that access to medical abortions in the U.S. is restricted "because of politics."

Coeytaux is wrong!

The opposition to a woman's right to choose is based exclusively on one argument: conservative Christian religious beliefs. If all of the Roman Catholics, fundamentalist Protestants and Mormons left the antiabortion movement, the only people remaining could hold their national convention in a telephone booth.

The media should stop worrying about offending the sensibilities of "believers" and start being more hard-hitting in exposing religious mythology.

--F.G. WOOD

Bakersfield

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This morning, I turned to your abortion pill article just as I was about to take my daily dose of RU-486. I have been taking RU-486 every morning for more than 11 years, in a clinical trial to control my brain tumor (a meningioma). My tumor has hormone receptors, and the pill is a hormone block. My tumor, which was treated surgically in 1986 and again in 1989, has shown no regrowth in the 11-year period except for once when I was put on estrogen (we stopped that).

Political controversy has, on occasion, delayed the dispensing of the pills. I have gone without for periods ranging from several days to two weeks, pending another round of letter-writing and approvals, required every three months. In addition, my prescription drug insurance will not cover RU-486 as it is not legal in this country. I am thus an unintended victim of the politics surrounding this issue.

--NANCY MOSES

Irvine

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