At other clinics, safe, affordable careThe reports concerning the West Philadelphia medical practice of Dr. Kermit Gosnell are appalling ("Accused abortionist had bright beginning," Sunday). However, such conditions are rare in the city's abortion clinics.
From 2006 to 2008, I worked in the recovery room of the Philadelphia Women's Center, which offers a level of cleanliness, professionalism, and quality of care that is above reproach.
An obstetrician/gynecologist performed all abortion procedures, relying on a certified nurse anesthetist to administer anesthesia to patients choosing sedation. A licensed ultrasound technician provided accurate information regarding gestational age to women seeking abortions, as well as to the doctor. College graduates counseled women regarding their options, and medical assistants cared for patients during procedures.
The recovery room was exclusively staffed by registered nurses. My colleagues and I measured patients' heart rates and blood pressures, instructed them on postoperative self-care, and provided birth control. I personally answered calls to the clinic's 24-hour hotline if patients had problems or questions.
Our community is fortunate to have this clinic and three others in which safe, affordable care can be sought.
Rendell on fetus 'safety'Former Gov. Edward G. Rendell said of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, "Clearly, what this physician was doing is not safe. It's not safe for the mother. It's certainly not safe for the fetus" ("Rendell deplores charges about West Philadelphia abortion clinic," Saturday). News flash to Rendell: No abortion is safe for the fetus.
The Rev. William "Jud" Weiksnar
Abortion foes must share blameWhen Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, one of the most important concerns was to eliminate back-alley abortions performed by unqualified people in unsafe conditions. No matter what the law says, some women will always seek to terminate pregnancies for reasons ranging from mental and physical health to finances. Clearly the unfortunate women who sought Dr. Kermit Gosnell's help felt that they had no alternative.
Because of the nasty, intrusive, and sometimes murderous behavior of the antiabortion movement, it is now much more difficult for women to find safe and legal abortion services. Responsibility for the actions at the Gosnell clinic (assuming the allegations are true) must be shared not only by the perpetrators, but also by the antiabortion activists who drove desperate and poor women into his hands.
Dr. Kenneth Gorelick
Government failed in its responseThe evil, barbaric acts toward the infants and patients in Dr. Kermit Gosnell's office could have been prevented ("Years of inaction," Thursday). According to the grand jury report, the Pennsylvania Department of Health looked the other way even after complaints were made concerning the conditions in the office, and the Department of State's Board of Medicine took no action even after a former employee, nine years ago, reported illegal practices at the clinic. Do people understand that these are the same types of government agencies that will be a part of everyone's life when the federal government is involved in our daily health-care decisions? Please repeal Obamacare.
Why the surprise at these deaths?My greatest surprise about the indictment of Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the amount of public surprise at the murders that occurred in his clinic. Our nation has shrouded the killing of fetuses in the term choice for decades. Gosnell's mistake was killing the babies outside of the womb. Thus he is charged with murder. If he had killed the same babies in the womb, he would have been applauded for helping women to exercise their "right to choose."
Oh, the agony of new street signsHow can the people of Lower Merion go on whilst the street signs that Frederick Law Olmsted loved are replaced by government-issued, readable signs ("Historic signs at a crossroads," Sunday)? I can't imagine the pain and the amount of prayers it will take to right this wrong.
Perhaps the folks of Lower Merion should drive through Camden and see a real "epic tragedy." They might be able to see things more clearly.
Lower Merion, this is no tragedyIn referring to the federal mandate that all street signs be readable by 2018, including those in his neighborhood, a Wynnewood resident describes the potential loss of Lower Merion's 100-year-old street signs as an "epic tragedy" (Sunday). Tragedy includes the shootings in Arizona, the misery in Darfur, and terminal illness in the young. It does not cover the government enforcing a mandate that readable street signs must replace unreadable ones.