In response to the March 15 column, "Contraceptive isn't bad, no matter what GOP candidates tell," the writer probably meant "mandate," not "contraceptive."

GOP candidates don't like federal mandates that infringe on the religious freedom for which the United States was founded. I am proud to live in a country where people are free to worship as they choose, dress and display symbols according to religious beliefs, and not forced to defy religious beliefs such as not working on the Sabbath. A federal mandate on financing contraceptives through insurance plans administered by Catholic institutions does take away that religious freedom.

Additionally we are free to assemble in this country. The assembly that the writer speaks about —several people gathered to pray outside of an abortion clinic is known as 40 Days for Life. The prayers are there to offer hope and another choice to women contemplating abortion, pray for a change of heart in those promoting abortion, and pray for healing in those young women and men leaving the facility without their pre-born babies. The signs that are displayed there now show a smiling baby and a phone number to call to obtain a free sonogram and pregnancy care at a nearby pregnancy center offering pro-life choices.

Finally, it may seem counterintuitive that a religious institution that does not believe in abortion would also not believe in contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, recent statistics show why. The number of abortions has not decreased as contraception has become widely available. About 23 percent of pregnancies end in abortion, and there are still 1.2 million abortions a year. About half of women having abortions had been using contraception during the month they became pregnant (Guttmacher Institute).


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Sandra M. Nettina

West Friendship