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Re "Utah to have nation's first 72-hour abortion waiting period" (Tribune, May 4):

Starting this week, Utah now imposes the nation's longest waiting period on women seeking abortion care.

This misguided legislation requiring a woman to wait 72 hours before she can obtain an abortion is burdensome and medically unnecessary. Utah already requires women to be offered certain information at least 24 hours before they can obtain abortion care.

As a result of this law, a woman may have to delay care, particularly if she has to take time off from work, arrange for child care, travel a long way and perhaps stay overnight in a distant city, as Utah has a limited number of abortion providers.

Further, it disrespects women and their decision making. Women carefully consider the options before they make an appointment and visit a clinic; they do not need to be subjected to a state-mandated waiting period.

The decision to seek abortion care is one that is best made by a woman in consultation with her health care provider. Politicians should not intrude on these private medical decisions.

Vicki Saporta President

National Abortion Federation

Washington, D.C.