I feel compelled to write in response to Archbishop William Lori's commentary on religious freedom ("A fight for freedom," June 12). He claims an assault on religious freedom is under way in this country because the federal government refuses to finance his efforts and those of his fellow bishops to impose the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church on non-Catholics.

That is what it has always been about over the many decades the Catholic Church has resisted recognizing American women's right to abortion and contraception. The archbishop should be reminded that Catholics are not the only ones who pay taxes.

American women are legally entitled to contraception services and, with some qualifications, abortion services as well. If a medical institution seeks taxpayer-supported federal funding it must provide those services to all its patients.

If Catholic medical facilities feel they cannot provide such services to those who do not share the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church, they are "free" to refuse to do so — but not to continue being underwritten by taxpayer financing to which all Americans contribute.

Dan Tracy, Baltimore