Opinion | A Judge’s Attempt to Outlaw an Abortion Pill

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Judge Nullifies F.D.A.’s Approval of Abortion Pill” (front page, April 8), about a Texas judge’s ruling invalidating mifepristone, which was followed by a conflicting ruling by a Washington state judge:

Twelve years ago, I took mifepristone for a medication abortion. You know what the side effects were? A law school education. A career I am proud of. Financial independence. Ultimately, two precious children welcomed into a ready, loving, solo-parent family of my design.

You know what in fact carries an intolerably high risk of side effects for women? Giving birth. Giving birth while poor, giving birth as a Black woman, giving birth even under the most privileged circumstances, in a nation with an unthinkably high rate of maternal mortality.

When anti-abortion judges and activists are ready to make giving birth in the United States as safe as terminating a pregnancy, I’ll be happy to talk about women’s health. Until then, as they say, we’ll see them in court.

Jessica Diaz
Santa Barbara, Calif.

To the Editor:

The Food and Drug Administration is a scientific body charged with the approval of drugs. The drugs go through several phases of studies that are critiqued by F.D.A. experts.

Now a judge has usurped the mandate of the F.D.A. and invalidated the approval of mifepristone, subject to court challenges. Will those who oppose vaccines now get a judge to invalidate lifesaving vaccines?

Martin Schlager
San Jose, Calif.

To the Editor:

Re “For Texas Judge in Abortion Case, a Life Shaped by Conservative Causes” (news article, April 8):

One ideologically indoctrinated judge should not have the power to dictate the medical care of pregnant people across this country. That Matthew J. Kacsmaryk was devastated by the stillbirth of his first child should have allowed him to comprehend that health care decisions belong to individuals and their qualified caregivers.

Without considering the medical evidence, and while trying to obfuscate his preconceived ruling, this judge has abused his power to restrict access to time-sensitive lifesaving medical care. We need all the evidence-based options to provide optimal care for our patients.

My colleagues and I provide abortion care to people of all religions and all political parties, and to families of judges and politicians who oppose abortion publicly. We do it even when lawmakers criminalize our work, or we are threatened with violence. Because it is compassionate, nonjudgmental care. Because we believe in justice.

Chris Creatura
New York
The writer is an obstetrician-gynecologist.

To the Editor:

Dear Men:

You have no uterus. You have no ovaries. You have no capacity to give birth, notwithstanding the fact that you are involved in 100 percent of unwanted pregnancies. Not one of you has felt the fear of dying during a severely difficult labor or delivery. Not one of you has had to live with the physical toll a traumatic pregnancy can have on your body. And how many of you step up to the task of rearing the children you have spawned? Not enough.

You have no right — none, zero — to dictate what any woman can do with her body. Mind your own business, not mine.

Sara R. Nichols
Los Angeles

Let’s Get Rid of Military-Style Assault Weapons

To the Editor:

“What an AR-15 Owner Sees in Every Single Place He Goes,” by Matthew Walther (Opinion guest essay, April 9), is a wonderful exploration of the psychology of military-style assault weapon ownership. Permit me to state the problem more simply.

The No. 1 reason offered for why our fellow citizens own military-style assault weapons is recreation. (I include hunting, target shooting and collecting in this category.) For most owners of these weapons of mass destruction, military-style assault weapons are adult toys.

Can these adults not sacrifice their recreational interests in favor of saving the lives of our children? We are talking about toys.

I know we live in an age when we cannot expect adults to wear masks for the greater good or get themselves vaccinated for the greater good. But shouldn’t we reasonably expect our adult fellow citizens to give up their toys for the sake of our children?

No one can seriously argue that the founding fathers intended to enshrine a right to recreation as a constitutionally protected Second Amendment right. Military-style assault weapons in the hands of civilians serve no lawful purpose other than recreation. Let’s get rid of them for the greater good.

Zachary W. Carter
North Bethesda, Md.
The writer was U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York and corporation counsel for New York City.

Volunteering at a State Prison

To the Editor:

Bill Keller’s Opinion guest essay, “San Quentin Could Be a Model for Prisons in the Future” (April 3), delivered the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

I’m a writer and a filmmaker living in Marin County, Calif., and San Quentin State Prison is down the street from me. I volunteered there for several years in a restorative justice program called No More Tears, in which family members affected by homicide met approximately once a month with incarcerated men who had committed similar crimes. The program was co-founded by an inmate, Lonnie Morris, who is now out and working in his community, as are all the men I worked with.

I also worked with the prison’s television station, SQTV. I came to make many friends there; they’re among the best men I know.

San Quentin has, in my opinion, a great head start. And if Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new initiative gets underway, I hope to once again spend time with these men — good men, not irretrievable ones.

Kenn Rabin
San Anselmo, Calif.

Prosecuting Minor Offenses

To the Editor:

As a retired lawyer, I find it interesting that so many, apparently on both sides of the political spectrum, are arguing that the charges against the former president are just not serious enough to prosecute.

Do they feel the same about the millions of Americans who are prosecuted every year, for example, for shoplifting, petit larceny, disturbing the peace, not to mention even parking tickets, and that those folks should also be given free passes for their minor offenses?

Isn’t the rule of law supposed to be that you obey it or face the consequences, regardless of the “seriousness” of the offense, or the position or status of who may have committed it?

What am I missing here?

Jim Metzler
Rochester, N.Y.

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