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Letters: Spring/Summer 2023

Readers respond to our reporting on sexual and reproductive health and other stories from our Fall/Winter 2022 issue.

What does it take to achieve empowered sexual and reproductive health? In last issue’s opening section, experts offered many answers: Eliminate stigma, improve access to care, provide information and tools when and where needed, and more. The following sections covered attacks on health care, pharma’s role in the opioid crisis, tobacco’s endgame, and many other topics. 


Dr. Linnea Zimmerman says that calling for a reduction in birthrates in developing countries is contrary to the principal of reproductive justice [“A Divisive Climate Change Solution”]. To me, reproductive justice in developing countries is about providing all women with access to contraception as well as better education for girls and young women. And while Dr. Rieder suggests that he is part of the problem because he has a child, he is part of the solution. Were everyone to have only one child, we could gradually reduce the human population to a sustainable level. —Will Mahoney

Universal family planning [“Toward Universal Family Planning”] remains a great issue for countries like Pakistan. As a doctor and public health expert, I believe that without international support, universal family planning will remain only an idea. Pakistan is trying its best to achieve universal coverage, but economic and political crises stand in the way. —Syed Ata ul Munamm, MBBS, MSPH, District Health Officer, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan

I have been a high school nurse for 27 years, and I believe that we could do so much more onsite with our teen population [“5 Ways to Stem the STI Epidemic”]. We should have screening available at school with providers doing the follow-up for treatment. Make it known that all students have access and that it is confidential. It would make a huge difference in the 14–24-year-old age range. —Sandra Harwood

Incarcerated pregnant women in U.S. are not just forced to carry unwanted pregnancy but also “denied the ability to parent” as their newborns are taken away. Wherever women’s rights are denied, it’s worse in prison. Great read [“Twice Bound”] by @annalouiesuss. —Aon_Maha, via Twitter

With abortion rights in the hands of the states, access to care while incarcerated is more uncertain than ever. No one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will [“Twice Bound”]. —@ACLU via Twitter

Very disturbing trend [“The Audacity of Inhumanity”], as if we don’t have enough already. Not mentioned here, though, were #Azerbaijani attacks on at least two #Artsakh hospitals in 2020, in Stepanakert and Martakert. —@Siroun516, via Twitter

Health workers and facilities should not be a target for any type of violence [“The Audacity of Inhumanity”]. How can we disable, kill, and drive health workers away amid rising health needs? [The WHO] Global Health and Care Worker Compact provides the legal and human rights basis to support health care workers. —@readycat, via Twitter

Very recognizable read on the impact of the pandemic on basic research [“Research, Interrupted”]. Have seen exactly the same things even though our lab really came together in COVID response. One exception: we never received a shipment of cats in formalin. —@MarionKoopmans, via Twitter

Illuminating read [“Lethal Lessons”] on Big Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis through deceptive marketing, misrepresentation of addiction information, undermining legitimate science. Don’t forget @McKinsey's role as well. —@RadiaHennessey, via Twitter

Please do NOT ever take my name off the magazine mailing list. I love that magazine. I do not love hours and hours in front of a screen. Give me a good book or thoughtful magazine any day. —Ellen B. Hazzard

Ed. Response: We’ll switch your subscription to just the online version—but only if you ask us to. If you love print, don’t worry. We’ll keep the mail coming!