Letter: Abortion more common in Portland than reported

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Your story about the Portland City Council decision to enact a protest-free zone around Planned Parenthood on Congress Street contains a factual error. The writer states that the health center is “… the only facility in Portland that performs abortions.”

This is not true.

Abortion is a very safe and common medical service. Conclusive, scientific, well-published data shows that both medication and aspiration abortion can be safely performed not only by gynecologists, but also by doctors in other specialties like family, internal, and pediatrics, as well as by physicians assistants, certified nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners. Since it is safe for any of these clinicians to provide abortion care in their office settings, it is an incorrect assumption that they are not doing so.

Although it has not always been the case, abortion has become a highly stigmatized service. Therefore, most clinicians providing this care will do so quietly, in an effort to avoid the disruption and violence perpetrated by some people opposed to women’s autonomy and reproductive human rights. The clinicians and support staff at Planned Parenthood work bravely in public to help dispel this stigma and silence.

The misinformation in your article contributes to this stigma and needs to be corrected. Abortion is a very safe and common medical service that can be provided in a wide variety of clinical settings. It is incorrect to assume that this health-care service is only available in Portland at Planned Parenthood.

Congratulations to the City Council supporting safety on Congress Street.

Nancy A. Foss