Opinion | A Plea From More Than 100 Medical Professionals: Boycott Anti-Abortion States

To the Editor:

“States That Ban Abortion Risk Losing Business” (front page, July 12) reports that after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Democratic governors have pitched their states as better alternatives for business. As leaders in medicine across specialties, we agree.

After the ruling, many states have moved to ban abortion outright. This is a direct threat to our mission to comprehensively treat and care for our patients. We cannot tacitly endorse laws by explicitly promoting the economy of states in direct conflict with our role in promoting women’s health, equity and public health writ large.

National and international conferences attract tens of thousands of people each year and should be moved out of states that have elected to severely limit abortion access.

We encourage states that preserve reproductive health, thus saving women’s lives, to immediately begin to add capacity to host large conventions so that meetings can be moved.

We have the power to choose where we host and attend conferences. Commitments and changes to venues are already in progress. We urge that all businesses that do not wish to treat women as second-class citizens take this course of action.

Laura Esserman
Douglas Yee
Dr. Esserman is a breast cancer surgeon in San Francisco, and Dr. Yee is an oncologist in Minneapolis. The letter was signed by 135 other doctors and medical leaders.

To the Editor:

Re “Lifesaving Act in Indiana Mall Renews Debate on Gun Access” (front page, July 20):

The armed individual who killed the mass shooter at the Indiana mall will likely be promoted by the N.R.A. as a shining example of vigilante justice. However the objective of gun control, and specifically banning assault weapons, is to prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place so that an armed populace is not necessary.

Eric Schroeder
Bethesda, Md.

To the Editor:

The fact that a “good guy with a gun” finally stopped a mass murderer should not make anyone feel better about the American gun crisis. This story opens a window on a nightmarish America, where everyone carries a gun and where there are shootouts at the mall, at the grocery store, in clubs and theaters — an America where no one feels safe and no one is safe. It is an America that the N.R.A. and the gun manufacturers welcome.

But it is unrecognizable to many of us — an America where violence and fear are so woven into the fabric of everyday life that they have become indistinguishable from it. Sadly, it is not an America of the future; it is here now. And with any form of gun control seemingly impossible, and a far-right Supreme Court, it seems unlikely to change for the better any time soon.

Tim Shaw
Cambridge, Mass.

To the Editor:

Re “Climate Crisis Fades as Worry for U.S. Voters” (front page, July 18):

Oh please. It should be a surprise to nobody that Americans who are struggling with economic and other challenges don’t rank climate change as the most important issue. But that doesn’t mean Americans don’t care.

In fact, as documented by the widely respected Yale program that’s been tracking public opinion on climate change since 2008, over the last five years, “Overall, Americans are becoming more worried about global warming, more engaged with the issue, and more supportive of climate solutions.”

That’s even reflected in an interactive feature on the Times website.

It’s a disservice to your readers to misrepresent the reality that a majority of Americans see the climate crisis as an urgent problem demanding large-scale solutions.

Marc N. Weiss
New York
The writer is a co-founder of NY Renews, a coalition that pushed for New York’s climate bill.

To the Editor:

Re “Right-Wing Radio Sows Doubt About a Vote Yet to Take Place” (front page, July 5):

Why should anyone be surprised that right-wing talk show programs are peddling the idea that Democrats cheat to win elections? Today’s Trumpified G.O.P. almost uniformly claims that any election its candidate lost was stolen, and that the proof the election was stolen is that the Republican candidate lost.

Republicans appear to believe not merely that Democrats can’t win without cheating but also that they don’t have the right to win. In other words, the party of Lincoln considers itself to be the only legitimate political party in this country.

Such banana Republicanism can’t be allowed to stand. At the moment, though, it has a chokehold on the party; G.O.P. members of Congress who dare to challenge it are called traitors and stripped of political power.

It seems that it will take a political apocalypse to loosen the one-party partisans’ grip — and after Jan. 6, one can’t be sure how far they’ll go to stay on top.

Eric B. Lipps
Staten Island

To the Editor:

Re “Reimagined Crisis Hotline May Not Be Fit for Surge” (news article, July 16):

I applaud the initiation of the 988 system, the revamped suicide prevention hotline. We know that connection to another human being, even a stranger on the other end of the phone, is one of the best tools available to prevent suicide, so anything that makes this connection easier is a step forward. But I have one different concern.

In my 30 years of emergency psychiatry practice, I have seen that people in suicidal crisis fall into two categories: those with mental illnesses who need psychiatric help, and those in untenable social situations fueled by income inequality, unemployment, homelessness, isolation and substance use.

An effective crisis phone system can help connect those in the first group to treatment resources. Those in the second group can also benefit from a referral to a good psychotherapist to learn coping skills, but those skills alone will not resolve the underlying issues they face.

Until we recognize the ills of our society rather than labeling these people as mentally ill, I worry we will not decrease suicide rates significantly. We must adopt policies that support everyone’s basic needs, and give those who are struggling a chance.

Rachel Lipson Glick
Ann Arbor, Mich.

To the Editor:

“Depleting Rainforest, Branch by Branch, for Fuel” (front page, July 14) presents one more example of how excessive human population is depleting natural resources throughout the world and making life more difficult for many.

And, in this and many other cases, these changes are contributing to climate change that in the near future will be making increasing parts of the world unsuitable for human habitation.

Yet several of our Supreme Court justices are more interested in what they can do to accelerate this process than in what can be done to slow it down.

Herbert Weinblatt
Chevy Chase, Md.





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