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Criminal Charges for Refusing Surgery

March 29, 2004

Jonathan Turley's "When Choice Becomes Tyranny" (Commentary, March 21) grossly misrepresents the position of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. NAPW opposes the murder prosecution of a pregnant woman who allegedly refused a C-section and lost one of her twins to a stillbirth because it undermines healthcare for all patients. Doctors' advice should not be enforceable through criminal prosecutions. They are not infallible.

Far from "indifference to babies" and a willingness to embrace an "extreme view," NAPW's position is consistent with overwhelming court opinion that holds that all adults, including those who become pregnant, have a right to determine whether to undergo surgery.

Lynn M. Paltrow

Exec. Dir., National

Advocates for Pregnant

Women, New York

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