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It's never easy
Thank you for your feature on "Pregnancy Crisis Centers" ["Medicine or Ministry?" June 18]. In a time when the issue of abortion somehow remains taboo while having become cliché, I appreciate the catalyst for bringing the pro-choice/pro-life discussion back to the table. Having been a counselor at a clinic providing abortions, I would like to remind both sides of the reproductive rights debate of one simple truth: Getting out of an unplanned pregnancy is never easy.

I think any person who has never experienced pregnancy firsthand (read all men and far fewer women than publicly known) is unable to comprehend one very key point: There is no easy way out of a pregnancy. Once it's there, it's there and medically it will be a painful and inconvenient process for that not to be true anymore, be it abortion, miscarriage or delivery. So focusing on only the discomfort involved with abortion (in the most Triangle clinics, first trimester abortion), is manipulative, because all avenues of a pregnancy ending is physically unpleasant. The same is true for the mental health after-effects. As for Pregnancy Crisis Counselors and "Post Abortion Syndrome," I'd like to remind all of us (especially those who have the very careful job of exploring pregnancy options with a pregnant woman) of a somewhat better-known syndrome called "Post Partum Depression" (after birth) and what I'll coin "Post-Adoption Syndrome" (after adoption), the excruciating process of separation many birth mothers feel having given up her baby. The truth of the matter is that unplanned pregnancy is a traumatic event in a woman's life no matter what she decides to do, and it will most likely leave a lasting mark in her memory.

Just like Ms. Keene and Ms. Every argued, I can say that at our clinic we provided accurate, objective information about the abortion process and its risks, and we did. And they could doubt us, which they do. Regardless, it just proves the irreconcilability of this issue. I just hope I never have to trust Ms. Keene or Ms. Every to explain how to get out of a locked cage underwater, because they would probably show me pretty pictures of people swimming. Not very helpful when I need to know how to free myself and the risk of drowning is great.

Forced adoptions
Thank you so much for this article ["Medicine or Ministry?" June 18]. As an adoptee who was separated for over 34 years from my natural family, I especially appreciate the mention of the Darrah vs. Yolo County and Stoner vs. Williams cases, in which moms were coerced into giving away their children. My own mother calls my separation from her "legal kidnapping."

While women such as Georgina Keene may truly be interested in swaying women from abortion, the employees of these centers, along with adoption agencies and infertility doctors, have a financial stake in making sure that some of the babies born to these mothers end up in the hands of adopters. With the price tag for healthy white infants running an average of $30,000 in the United States, there is extra incentive to help pregnant women carry to term. These centers make no money if a woman chooses to keep and raise her child.

In my interviews with mothers who have lost a child to adoption, I have found that after a number of years, moms such as Sarah Brubaker live to regret their decision to give away their child. There are also many problems that adoptees have as a result of separation from our mothers, but the $1.5 billion U.S. adoption industry is such a strong and sacred business that most media tend to ignore stories from mothers who try to regain custody of their children, or moms who are coerced into signing adoption papers. Agencies and pregnancy centers fail to mention the ongoing grief of moms in support groups, or of the problems of their offspring. One group that I witnessed included several moms who had lost children, some over 40 years ago; still, they grieve.

Thank you for attempting to illuminate the truth behind these centers.

>In our June 25 issue, Grant Britt wrote about a band called Blind Hog in our Get Out music section. His write-up had Blind Hog confused with Blind Hog Band. Blind Hog was the band that performed at the Six String Cafe; they're a quartet from Raleigh--not a duo from Kentucky.
Also, the name of jazz pianist Chris Pattishall was misspelled in last week's Indies Arts Awards story about the Shepard Jazz Camp.

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