standing Letters

Steven Slosberg did well to recall the sad death of Gerri Santoro in a Norwich motel room in April 1973 after a botched attempt at self-abortion (“A tragedy in Norwich helped propel safe abortion access after Roe v. Wade,” in The Express, July 14).

The implication seems to be that the era’s draconian laws drove her to this extreme. And that the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision in the Dobbs case has turned the clock back to that benighted time.

But it must be noted that at 28 weeks pregnant, and presumably carrying a viable fetus, Ms. Santoro would not have been permitted to obtain a legal abortion in Connecticut, even if she had sought one. Not in April 1973, three months after Roe v. Wade was decided, nor in July 2022, after Roe has been overturned.

Today, only seven states and the District of Columbia permit abortions at any point in a pregnancy, for any reason or no reason. The others have laws that limit a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy once her fetus/child can live outside the womb.

Roe and its successor case, Casey (1992), couldn’t have saved Gerri Santoro from the impact of these constitutionally protected laws. Or from a decision not to end a pregnancy before it had nearly reached its third trimester.

Is there a debate to be had over whether those state laws should be liberalized to permit more late-term abortions?

Mr, Slosberg’s opinion would be welcome.

Richard Willing


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