If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Reactions: Responding to the editorial on abortion

September 1, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 31


Letters to the editor

Thank you for the excellent editorial “Gender Equity at Risk.” In addition, the Supreme Court ruling on abortion has ramifications for all pregnancies. Pregnancy is more dangerous than abortion, and pregnancy difficulties, miscarriages, and fetal deaths are quite common, especially in areas with poor availability of obstetric services. Attacks on women and states where abortion is still legal are on the rise. Maine is one of those states, and the number of women coming here for abortions is on the increase. Our governor (Janet Mills, D) has given an executive order that personal medical information cannot be divulged in response to requests from antiabortion states. Attacks and restrictions on abortion pills are also in process. The inhuman lack of exemptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest having led to the recent fiasco of a 10-year-old girl from Ohio going to Indiana for an abortion is just the tip of the iceberg. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

Robert E. “Bob” Buntrock
Orono, Maine

It is surprising that outrage at the Roe v. Wade decision is deemed a proper topic of discussion by the C&EN editor in chief, especially in such a one-sided presentation (July 4, 2022, page 4). Certainly part of the American Chemical Society commitment to diversity and inclusion requires at least the acknowledgment that abortion terminates the life of a living human being who, based on common-sense logic and scientific fact, also has rights to be considered. Modern ultrasound technology has overridden the previously used “just a clump of cells” argument for abortion. And sadly, there is now visual evidence showing that some abortions do not allow for the “freedom from violence and torture” espoused in the editorial.

The argument that the human fetus is not actually human is, in another context, not without precedent in the US. However, this does not make the argument true or morally valid. Have we not learned that denying personhood based on competing economic considerations does not age well? How many of those aborted (disproportionately weighted toward people of color) would have become chemists and/or valued members of society? As long as the preborn child is accorded zero consideration, commitment to diversity and inclusion will be a trendy slogan but nothing more.

Del A. Koch
Columbia, Missouri



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.