Rachel Guido deVries, of Cazenovia, protests in front of the...

Rachel Guido deVries, of Cazenovia, protests in front of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, N.Y. She stood with more than 150 protestors in the 90-degree heat to make a statement against the Catholic bishops' position on Obama's health care plan. (June 21, 2012) Credit: AP

Regarding "Pass women's health law" [Letters, June 25], the chances that in the 21st century women's access to easy, affordable birth control would be subject to such a strong debate would have been laughable 10 or 20 years ago.

If you are not paying attention to this because you reside in liberal New York and consider it a Bible Belt issue, think again. In New York, if you have a Catholic employer's health insurance plan, you may just be simply out of luck, and flat-out refused coverage for contraception.

Our neighbors in New Jersey recently eliminated their state family-planning programs, which provided low-income women and teenagers subsidized birth control. The debate is creeping up the Northeast awfully quickly. Why must we be forced into a battle of what is allowed behind the closed doors of a gynecologist's office or the doors of a woman's reproductive life?

No one person's life or choices or influences are identical to another's, so how can we tailor the law around something as intimate as whether or not a women is ready to start a family? It is simply not a matter of law, but a matter of the mind of each individual woman.

Michelle Raider, Port Washington

In response to the letter "Health care plan goes against freedom of conscience" [June 24], the writer states the health care compromise offered by President Barack Obama to Catholic employers "violates the freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment."

The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Sadly, freedom of conscience is not mentioned in the First or any amendment to the Constitution.

The health care compromise is just that: a compromise giving both the insured and the insuring a freedom of conscience position.

Ed Pavlak, Speonk


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