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Letter: Access to abortion linked to increase in STD rates

Access to abortion linked to increase in STD rates

Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper rightly denounces threats and violence against abortion providers, but overlooks the fact that the earliest version of the Hippocratic Oath proscribed abortion. My view is that physicians who perform elective abortions are ethically challenged. I would encourage them to rethink their position, as the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson famously did.

Horvath-Cosper mentions that abortion clinics also perform “sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment.” Unhappily, access to elective abortion is also in part responsible for spikes in STD rates.

In a statistical study, professors Jonathan Klick and Thomas Stratmann establish a “causal” statistical link between legalized abortion and spikes in the rates of gonorrhea and syphilis. Their June 2003 paper, “The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Sexual Behavior: Evidence from Sexually Transmitted Diseases,” used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and appears in “The Journal of Legal Studies.”

Klick and Stratmann write: “Our results attribute a large increase in gonorrhea and syphilis rates to changing sexual behavior, which was induced by abortion law changes. This increase resulted in additional expenditures for the treatment of gonorrhea and syphilis on the order of $300 million per year. If a similar abortion effect exists for other STDs, which we could not examine because of data limitations, additional treatment expenditures might amount to more than $4 billion annually.”

Abortion clinics must not be bombed and their workers must be protected. But these clinics should forfeit governmental funding since their policies directly contribute to spikes in STD rates.

Richard H. Escobales Jr., Ph.D.

Buffalo