I am an 87 year old mother and grandmother. I am a woman who in 1961 had an ectopic pregnancy. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant and start a family for three years. We sought out a fertility specialist and subsequent treatments. I desperately wanted a baby. Life without children was not the future I had imagined; I had so much to give and to teach.

In those days, if a woman had a perilous, life-threatening pregnancy, doctors would do everything they could for that woman’s health and well-being, even at a Catholic hospital in Milwaukee. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fetus develops outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube; it occurs in 2 out of 100 pregnancies. It is fatal for the fetus and threatens the life of the mother. Doctors saved my life, and even though I lost my baby, I was lucky to live in a time when my doctor’s expertise took precedence over a politician’s ideology. It was a time when there was no question of having the necessary surgery that would ultimately save my life.

I then adopted two children, my daughter and my son, and thanks to them, I have seven caring grandchildren. I have lived a wonderful, full life with a loving family, a life that I have dedicated to serving my community for the greater good. Would our world be a better place if government officials had the power to reject my life-saving surgery based on their personal beliefs about abortion rights?

I am someone who survived a traumatic and virulent pregnancy, whose baby could not have lived, and I would have died at the young age of 26 years old. I fervently hope that future generations will have the choice I had.

—Marjorie Perlman Shafton, Chicago

Letter author Misty Roberts opines that “only female practitioners should perform intimate procedures on female patients” as a solution to the heinous (and thankfully rare) cases of sexual abuse by male gynecologists (“Chaperones won’t stop abuse”, November 6). I regret this review. I think of my outstanding male colleagues in obstetrics and gynecology who accompany women through pregnancy and safe childbirth, diagnose and cure gynecological cancers, give infertile couples the gift of parenthood, ease urinary incontinence, skilfully treat an astonishing range of women’s issues related to menstrual disorders. to menopausal symptoms to contraceptive challenges, and yes, to saving lives. This list only scratches the surface of the enormous breadth of expertise provided by the men and women who are OB-GYNs.

All of these treatments involve intimate examinations and procedures. How sad and misguided to recommend that a woman avoid seeking treatment from an OB-GYN based solely on gender.

Should we tackle the problem of the heinous (and thankfully rare) sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests by eliminating men from this ministry? I do not think so.

There will always be evil, and we must always strive to drive it out. Banning people from exercising a profession because of their gender is not the way to achieve this.

I don’t use the word “ban” lightly: if every woman followed Roberts’ advice, no male doctor would go into obstetrics and gynecology. What a loss that would be.

—Dr. Sharon L. Dooley, Chicago

Illinoisans just voted for the right to unionize to the exclusion of voters who want “right to work” laws. Labor unions already had the right to organize in Illinois. So why do they need a constitutional amendment that forces people who don’t want to be unionized to join and pay union dues? And it prevents future lawmakers from enacting right-to-work legislation in Illinois.

Amendment 1 is ridiculous and undemocratic, it must surely be challenged in the Supreme Court. No wonder businesses and people are leaving Illinois in droves.

—John Reichert, LaGrange Park

The media, in all its forms, has made Donald Trump relevant, and it is the media that can make Trump irrelevant.

Starting in 2015, the media latched on and reported on all the disgusting things Trump spat out to the point that he dominated the news cycle. We all thought it was great theater until he won the presidential election. His thousands of lies were reported as breaking news. TV, radio, social media and print media couldn’t get enough of Trump.

This continued throughout the 2022 election, and it continues today. The media always covers every disgusting thing he spits.

I believe the media is desperate to see him show up in 2024 to keep selling the news. The American public is fed up with Trump and would completely forget about him if the media stopped reporting his every antics and allowed him to be the irrelevant peddler he is and was before making him relevant.

—George Recchia, Oak Park

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