Letter to the Editor, "Response to Ross Douthat's Column," by Joan Malin, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City, published in New York Times (5/26/09)
In his piece "Faking Left," Ross Douthat quite simply misses the point.
While creating inaccurate labels such as "pro-life" and "pro-choice" may have served a conservative political ideology for the past several decades, it has in no way served the American people. Reproductive health, including but not limited to abortion, is far too complex to be addressed with a black and white political argument.
Douthat ignores the heart of the issue: the lives and health of the women and families whose very well-being he discusses. He seems to forget that his philosophical and political arguments have real-life consequences.
When we let politics get in the way of providing the best medical care possible for America's women and families, everyone loses. When women are no longer able to make the best medical decision for themselves, their families and their situations, both sides, right and left, suffer.
This isn't about "choice"; it's about respecting and affirming a woman's decision no matter what it may be.
It's time to stop making women and their families casualties of an ideological war.