Magic Bullets, Dangerous Shields
Katha Pollitt’s clarion essay [“Magic-Bullet Birth Control,” June 8] is a stark indictment of male politicians who want to make pregnancy irreversible. Their fetal protectionism imposes sectarian religious doctrine on our “free” country, denying women—mostly poor—a choice. Nations that do better in maternal and child health allow safe abortion as an option, while promoting contraception. Conservatives also oppose end-of-life choice, reflecting the religious tenet—starting with Adam and Eve—that human will is evil. As with the fetus, we sanctify patients in permanent vegetative states, such as Terri Schiavo.
E. James Lieberman, md
I had an immediate, visceral reaction to Katha Pollitt’s column. I am a victim of the Dalkon Shield and have almost died twice, had two surgeries, and was hospitalized an additional four times because of severe pelvic inflammatory disease resulting from the IUD. I have learned never to put anything in my body unless it is proved to be safe and there are no other options.
On the other hand, good for Colorado. Its experimental program’s results are superior and a “no-brainer.” I am disgusted, but not surprised, that shortsighted, fact-ignoring zealots have squashed the program’s expansion. I wonder how these people would react if they were required to be emotionally and financially responsible for the “unborn children” who’d result from essentially outlawing birth control—birth control that reduces teen pregnancy and abortion. How silly of me to apply logic!
I am no longer in my childbearing years and have not kept up-to-date on the safety of newer IUDs. I simply wanted to raise a cautionary flag. Please, just be sure that these young women enjoy the benefits of the IUD and none of the health- and life-threatening issues that users of the Dalkon Shield were subject to.
Susan C. Lapekas
All About the Benjamins
Tsk, tsk. Shame on The Nation for such an inapt choice of denomination for the head of the bought-and-paid-for politician on the June 8 cover [the image refers to Ari Berman’s “How the Wealth Primary Is Undermining Voting Rights”]. Surely that should be the $100 bill’s Benjamin Franklin from the neck up, not the twenty’s Andrew Jackson.
blooming grove, n.y.