Doctor: Let’s not repeat our ghastly abortion history

From Joel B. Miller, MD, of Hickory, in response to “If you’re pro-life, celebrate past 8 years” (Feb. 3 Our View):

As your editorial this morning so aptly pointed out, there have been dramatic declines in the number of pregnancy terminations and unintended pregnancies in the United States. I am a retired obstetrician-gynecologist and have seen the full spectrum: a time when abortion was illegal, the advent of Roe v. Wade, to the present day when reliable, long-acting, reversible contraception covered by the Affordable Care Act, along with better education, have caused the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion to drop to record lows.

Those of us who advocate for a woman’s right to make her own reproductive and contraceptive decisions in a safe and informed environment are ecstatic about these reductions, seemingly more so those who oppose these rights.

The last thing we should do is reverse these changes. Reliable contraception at low cost is likely the most significant factor in reducing pregnancy terminations. It is also much less expensive than care for an unintended pregnancy carried to term. Repealing the contraceptive coverage of the ACA would undo this progress rapidly.

Even more catastrophic results will occur if pro-life advocates get their desired repeal of Roe v. Wade. I am old enough to have seen the days when abortion was illegal and back room, unsafe procedures by untrained quacks led to great morbidity and death. Like those procedures, most of the ugly results remained hidden from the public, but, trust me, death from a septic abortion is an ugly, ugly thing.

Let us rejoice in these positive results and not repeat ghastly history.