MANY of your letter writers on Question 6 have been well-informed and genuinely concerned about the health of Marylanders. A few, however, have not.
Linda Fallek of Annapolis wrote that approximately one-third of women undergoing abortion experience morbidity or complications including hemorrhage, retained fragments, embolism, perforation, anesthetic complications, sterility and risk of trouble in future pregnancies. Instead, the risks of morbidity and complications following abortion are less than those following normal delivery. There are no increased risks of fetal anomalies in a subsequent pregnancy . . .
Randall Wetzel of Annapolis wrote that Question 6, if passed, would allow any physician (dermatologist, psychiatrist, intern) to perform abortions. Were this true, then I (a maternal-fetal specialist, someone who cares for women and their fetuses when the risks of poor pregnancy outcome are increased) could perform brain or open-heart surgery.
Instead (thankfully), hospital policy requires that physicians demonstrate training and expertise in performing any procedure before they are allowed to so practice. . .
As a physician old enough to remember the days of illegal abortion, I shudder at the thought that the days may return of infected, incomplete, amateur abortions and women permanently damaged or infertile as a result. I have seen some of the advertising and misinformation proffered by those seeking to limit a woman's right to choose. Frankly, I am afraid for our collective future.
I urge all those concerned about women's health, safety and autonomy to vote FOR Question 6.
David A. Nagey, M.D.
QUESTION 6 is not about whether abortion will remain legal in Maryland. Abortion will continue to be legal no matter what happens to Question 6.
But if the question is passed, the abortion industry will prosper and grow in Maryland, thereby adding to the 30,000 abortions already performed yearly.
I would like to see abortions reduced in Maryland, and I believe parental notification would help achieve this. National polls show strong support for the idea that parents should be notified if a child has an abortion. (See polls in Parade magazine, 1992, and the Washington Post, 1992).
Question 6 does not provide genuine parental notification, for it states "the physician may perform an abortion on an unmarried minor without notice to a parent or guardian of the minor if, in the judgment of the physician, the minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent."
How can a physician in an abortion clinic evaluate the minor's maturity in a brief encounter with her? Does he know her medical and emotional background? I think not.
This law repeals the Information Before Abortion Law of 1979. A woman would no longer be given information which would include resources for help in continuing the pregnancy, raising the child (for example, child support) or making an adoption plan.
Voting for Question 6 can only increase the number of abortions in Maryland. Voting against Question 6 will help reduce abortions in Maryland.
PD In the voting booth tomorrow, let your conscience be your guide.