Look at GOP’s voting record in Congress on women’s issues
Re Timothy J. Gaffney Sr.’s Aug. 9 letter about the “war on women”: Is he kidding me?
Mr. Gaffney chooses to blame the Democrats for the “war on women” by simply blaming the bad behavior of a few elected officials. And, yes, there are elected officials on both sides who have exhibited bad behavior and poor judgment when it comes to women. But their personal indiscretions did not affect an entire gender, and their behavior did not legislate the treatment, or lack, of that gender.
[Consider] the “Anti-Women Voting Record of the U.S. House of Representatives 112th Congress” as published by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Minority staff in September 2012.
The report outlines “the number of times the Republican-controlled House has voted to undermine women’s health, to roll back women’s rights, and to defund programs and institutions that provide health care and support for women.”
u 17 votes to allow health insurance companies to discriminate against women.
u 11 votes that cut women’s access to preventive care.
u 10 votes to restrict or roll back abortion rights or access to legal abortion.
u Seven votes to cut funding for key nutrition programs for women.
u Six votes against protections for women from violence and discrimination.
u Three votes to block access to reproductive and maternal care services.
u Three votes to undermine Medicare and Medicaid programs.
u 14 votes to weaken environmental laws that protect pregnant women.
These votes against women and women’s rights affect the lives of every woman in this country, and not just a few who have engaged in extracurricular activities with narcissistic politicians. They also affect the lives of their children and families. The GOP repeatedly voted against bills like the Violence Against Women Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and many others that directly affect women’s welfare, health and livelihood.
The GOP record speaks for itself and clearly shows how they really feel about women.
Moms can’t pick which laws they want to obey
I was struck by the compassionate remarks of funeral director Susan Daly in the Aug. 11 Gazette regarding stillbirth deaths.
Daly speaks about babies dying prior to birth and explains that her funeral home is called upon to make arrangements for some of these infants when they die following 21 weeks of gestation.
I find such comments surprising, given that Daly Funeral Home was one of several Schenectady businesses rallying outside Proctors in April [April 4 Gazette] expressing support for Gov. Cuomo’s “women’s equality agenda,” an agenda that included expansion of late-term abortion. The governor’s agenda, which thankfully did not pass, would have allowed abortion for virtually any reason after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
It seems inconsistent to mourn the loss of an unborn child at eight months’ gestation, and help families to properly grieve such a loss, while cheerleading for a bill that would have enabled the death of infants at that very same stage of development.
As a society, we need to come to terms with the fact that a baby is a baby is a baby, and we cannot say it is a baby when a mother desires a child, yet pretend it is not a baby when the infant is unwanted or unplanned. He or she is the same human organism, deserving of our respect, and worthy of the protection of the law.
The writer is the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference.
Prenatal memorial gardens not really new
I read the Aug. 11 article, “Taken too soon.” I am a women’s health care provider with over 35 years experience as a registered nurse in the delivery room and, most recently, as a certified nurse midwife.
Back in the late ‘70s, I became interested in the issues surrounding prenatal bereavement and the need to shed more light on the needs of women and their families during the trauma of stillbirth. I was very happy to see the article in your paper [allowing] the public to become more educated about what is still a somewhat taboo subject.
However, while the article states the memory garden at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery is one of the first in the country, this is not necessarily true. I am from Long Island, and down there the memorial garden concept that is referenced has existed in Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury for over 10 years.
In addition, the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System also has a memorial garden, where memory bricks can be placed for those have had a loss.
It’s good to see that the concept is taking hold up here in the Capital Region also.
Margaret E. Priola
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