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Don't force the church to violate its teachings

In the March 29 editorial, "Safe in America," The News takes issue with Catholics who consider Obamacare requirements an attack on religious freedom. It argues: "To further a sensible social policy" we must include contraception coverage.

This "sensible social policy" encourages immoral behavior, which may result in the creation of life, which then, under the "sensible social policy" provides for free the means to kill the "unwanted human being."

The editorial reminds readers that although Catholic teachings hold the use of birth control immoral, "plenty of Catholic women don't go along with that." So, am I to assume that because some Catholics don't go along with it, that it's OK? That Christ's teaching is null and void? Because many people sin, it does not justify the action, or make it acceptable.

The editorial states that the "Catholic Church has been complying with the state's contraception coverage mandate for years, after losing a challenge before the state's highest court." It does not state that this is always under protest. This new mandate will include abortion pills. We are now not talking about preventing life; we are speaking about killing a life. This will never be OK with the Catholic Church. It is wrong to kill. And to force the Catholic Church to enforce a law that would provide the means to kill is indeed an attack on our religious freedom.

Women have been getting abortions for years without the help of the church. If the government wants to provide access to free abortion pills, open up federal clinics where women can go to pick them up. Although all American citizens pay for this in the end, at least leave the Catholic Church, its agencies and its health coverage out of it.

Linda F. Smith

Depew

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Covering Kensington would waste millions

Covering 1.2 miles of the Kensington Expressway is not necessary. This is an absurd idea! This $465 million should be spent on something that would be more effective. The City of Buffalo does not know what to do with this obscene amount of money. We need to focus more on improving what we already have at our finger tips, such as developing the waterfront, building condominiums, restaurants and stores. This sounds much more reasonable to me. I'm a 27-year-old woman, and I believe that people of all ages would enjoy this a lot more.

Come on, Buffalonians, we have this beautiful land by the lake and there is nothing eye-catching around there. This money can also be used to improve the streets that need fixing, and restore schools. There are numerous areas that need to be improved and developed. We already have enough parks and green space in Buffalo; a good idea would be to clean them up and make the parks we already have more inviting.

Nataliya Kushnir

Amherst

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Forget about the lottery and invest in necessities

I was not surprised, but a little distraught, with the recent Mega Millions frenzy. Families are starving and unemployment is at an all-time high, yet people continue to spend huge sums of money when their odds of winning are one in 176 million. In this age of greed, it's time to invest in the necessities in life such as food and clothing and stop banking on a miracle.

Martin Farrell

West Seneca

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Writer knows nothing about vaginal sonogram

After reading the letter, "Requiring sonogram makes perfect sense," I had to respond. The writer said that it is "absurd to oppose the sonogram's vaginal wand as an instrument of 'rape.' " I respectfully disagree. I have a history of ovarian cysts, which have required both abdominal and vaginal sonograms. I have had three vaginal ultrasounds, and I can assure you that depending upon how the instrument is used, it can be quite violating.

I will spare the reader the needless details and just summarize the general experience. The first two occasions, I had a female technician who covered me with a sheet and handed me the wand. On the third occasion, there was no sheet and the doctor never handed me the wand. Let me tell you, I felt violated and embarrassed. A vaginal sonogram can very much be an instrument of "rape" when there is no consent given. I wonder if the writer would feel differently if she were to go to a gynecologist and be forced, by matter of law, to endure this procedure. It is an unnecessary and invasive procedure. Period.

Annette Morrison

Fredonia

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Legalizing drugs might help dismantle gangs

I am a retired teacher who taught English as a Second Language in all grades from kindergarten to 12 in the Buffalo Public Schools. This is my second year of retirement, so my experience in teaching is still pretty fresh. I agree that accountability in the system should certainly be shared by teachers and parents, and you can throw administrators and students into the mix. Much money has been thrown into improving the system, and frankly, most of it has gone down the drain. Why? A key variable that has been glossed over is the role gangs play in poisoning our students and communities in countless ways that make education, especially in the urban setting, nearly impossible. It breaks my heart that so many bright students are negatively influenced by ruthless gangs. Many children have parents who themselves are, or have been, incarcerated for activities, most likely associated with drugs and gangs.

The war on drugs is not being won. Many at the bottom of the 99 percent are being held hostage to gang life, while there are those in the 1 percent who really profit from illegal drug sales, control it and are untouchable. We seriously need to consider legalizing drugs in order to deal with the gang issue. If drug use cannot be eradicated, it should at least be put under government control just as alcohol was. This is probably the best way of dismantling gang life, which is literally killing our students, bright and all.

How long can we close our eyes to the monster that is eating the insides of our children, their parents, our cities and this country? Accountability is for everyone, including lawmakers, who should do some smart research and pass legislation that will give our government real control of drugs and schools back to their communities.

Anne Kaczynski

Alden

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Trico Building worthy of landmark designation

We support the recommendation of the Buffalo Preservation Board and Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture and Culture to landmark the iconic Trico Building. We have written to Mayor Byron Brown and other elected city officials asking them to support the landmark legislation.

Kathy and Tony Mecca

Buffalo