Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 21, 2013

Syndicated columnist Bonnie Erbe is off the mark

— Be aware that Bonnie Erbe’s columns include incomplete information, misinformation, or “missed” information.

In, “Helping the poor worthy of praise,” (The Goshen News, June 15), she touted “Women Deliver” and its allies as “doing the Lord’s work tending to the medical needs of women forgotten.” One main ally, the Marie Stopes Society, was a major participant of the referenced conference in Malaysia. Ms. Erbe condemns those who oppose the “abortion on demand” portion of “family planning.”

In 2009 (the year after President Obama re-approved funding for International NGO’s providing abortions), I was in Cambodia providing women’s care at a government hospital. I saw a young lady following an abortion. Her uterus was perforated causing life-threatening anemia and sepsis; her real problem, an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, was still present. If I had not been present to do a hysterectomy she almost certainly would have died.

The same year, in Bangladesh, a similar case occurred. During an elective abortion done in a Marie Stopes facility, the uterus, as well as the intestine, was perforated. Despite aggressive antibiotic therapy and multiple surgeries, a young lady died.

My cases are not a statistical study. However, they are not isolated situations. I support family planning and contraception. However, by definition, both should occur before sexual intercourse and before initiation of “life” in the mother.

In Erbe’s column from (June 20) condemning the use of animals in medical research, I have three questions for her:

1. Are you willing to be a “replacement” for research animals in testing new procedures and drugs?

2. Are you willing to give up personal use of all drugs or medical procedures that we would not have without animal testing?

3. Are you going to ensure that physicians, drug companies and medical device companies are free from litigious attorneys when testing is done in humans rather than animals?

— Kenneth Petersen, MD