Making abortion safe and rare

The voters of Maryland overwhelmingly approved the law protecting a woman's right to choose when to have a child. By a 62 percent-38 percent margin, they decided that the state should not interfere with this very personal decision before a fetus becomes viable.

This reflects the will of the people, not "the extreme agenda of the abortion industry," as Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien wrote in his recent letter to the editor (Readers respond, Sept 12.).

Under our law, once a doctor decides that the fetus is capable of sustained survival outside the womb, an abortion can be performed only if it is necessary to protect the life or health of the mother or if the fetus is affected by a genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality.

Legal abortion "is a far cry from being safe or rare" in Maryland, the archbishop asserts.

Any physician who injures a woman while performing an abortion should be appropriately disciplined by the Board of Physicians. Nonetheless, abortion is far safer today in Maryland than it was in the era of illegal back-alley abortions.

It will become rarer if we teach children to be responsible in their sexual activity and provide family planning for those who are sexually active.

Del. Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg, Baltimore

The writer is a Democrat representing Baltimore's 41st District.

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