Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I would like to point out a few errors in Andrew Shriver’s article, “Why Birth Control Matters: The GOP’s War on Women.”

The Virginia General Assembly did not pass a law requiring a transvaginal ultrasound. They instead required that a woman receive a non-invasive ultrasound, allowing her the opportunity to be fully informed about the development of the fetus, and giving her the option of seeing the ultrasound image.

Claiming that the bill allowing ER doctors to decline to perform abortions would cause women to die is simply untrue. Yes, there are occasions in which a woman’s life is endangered if she becomes pregnant, such as an ectopic pregnancy, or a condition in which a hysterectomy is necessary. However, it is possible in these situations to perform a surgical procedure that does not involve a direct abortion. In other words, a life-saving procedure to remove the fallopian tubes or the uterus would terminate the pregnancy; however, it is essentially different from an abortion in that its direct effect is to remove an organ, not to remove a fetus. Doctors are not exempt from performing such procedures.

While I disagree with the GOP on many issues, the widespread use of contraception and abortion on demand have been doing far more harm to women than Republicans. For example, common psychological side effects of abortion are: increased substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, sexual indifference, and even suicide. Organizations like “Silent No More” (silentnomoreawareness.org) exist because thousands of women have begun to speak up about the damage caused them by their abortions.

Oral contraception has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer (unlike the much-debated abortion/breast cancer link, this has been proven by the National Cancer Institute) and sexual dysfunction (according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine). In addition, while contraception might individually prevent or halt unwanted pregnancies, a quick glance at the past fifty years shows that it has increased risky behavior overall, resulting in a dramatic increase in unwanted pregnancies, divorce due to extramarital affairs, and, yes, abortions.

I realize that this is a topic for which a letter to the editor does not provide adequate room, and there are many related issues which I have had to leave untouched. I simply believe there is a serious problem when the term “women’s health” is applied to things that do more to destroy our health rather than preserve it.


Alena Merimee