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When politicians play doctor

By Virginia Yrun
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 21, 1999
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To the editor,

On behalf of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, Inc. I would like to applaud Sarah Spivack for her articulate response to the emotionally charged claims made by columnist Al Mollo.

So called "partial birth abortion" is a political term invented by religious political extremists to outlaw all abortions. We must exercise great care when extremists resort to emotional ploys to turn the tables on a woman's protected right to access safe, legal and confidential abortion services. We must work together to preserve women's health and the right to choose.

The federal courts, Arizona and people around the country agree. In 1997, Senior United States District Judge Richard M. Bilby ruled that a "partial birth abortion ban" "unconstitutionally burdens a woman's right to terminate a nonviable fetus, and that the act is void for vagueness in that it does not define the conduct which it attempts to proscribe."

Women's decision making and health outcomes are threatened when legislators play doctor. It's time for the public to rally support to protect access to safe and legal abortion.

Millions of women around the world who lack such access pay with their lives.

We won't go back.

Virginia Yrun
President and chief executive officer
Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona