A recent editorial cartoon showing the birth control pill running down religious freedom was totally ludicrous (AFN, Feb. 10) if not 18th century thinking. Having been the health care industry for over 40 years, I cannot help but respond.

When did a hormone become a threat to religious freedom? Are we willing to list ALL hormones for legislative review? Let’s review them: thyroid, growth, male treatment/enhancement, endocrine, digestive, etc. All of these and many more are used in treating life-threatening diseases — just as the female hormones are.

Some examples:

• Your daughter of 10 is beginning her periods (yes, they happen at 10). She cannot get out of bed in the morning from the pain. Would you ease that pain with a simply daily pill?

• Your teenager is experiencing terrible teen acne. Would you not try the pill as a possible remedy?

• You are an athlete with very heavy monthly bleeding. How can you get through a game/exercise when you may “leak” at any moment? Heavy bleeding is treated with a pill!

• You are a woman of 30 who has irregular menses and experience terrible physical and mental changes each time your period is imminent. A pill will help you regulate that issue.

• You have been told by your physician that you will be at risk for dire consequences if you become pregnant within an immediate post-operative time. Will you let the church decide your life or death?

If you are of the male sex and have not experienced the concerns of a woman, you cannot fathom the depth of pain such situations and many others cause a woman. And, yes, in most cases she must face alone. Yet the common attacker of any use of “the pill” is an under-educated male with the need to be in charge.

I recommend some sanity in this argument — it is about health care for the female population not about religious freedom!

Betty L. Boesen

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