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Feedback 7/3

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Pro-choice push doomed good bill

It is with more sadness than joy that I congratulate the New York State Senate for defeating the Women's Equality Act, the very name of which explains my unhappiness. The bill contained nine extremely important and long-overdue corrections to New York State law that would have brought many critical improvements to women's equality in our state.

Due to the machinations of politicians who receive major campaign funding and other support from pro-choice organizations and individuals both in-state and out, the Women's Equality Act was saddled with a self-destructive component expanding abortion access well beyond what voters can accept. Understanding the abortion polls quite well, these politicians cobbled an expansion of abortion access into an otherwise fine bill that most New Yorkers would support. Even the state Conservative Party supported the non-abortion components of the bill.

Unfortunately, rather than pass into law the WEA's necessary elements, pro-choice lawmakers in Albany killed the whole bill by refusing to remove its only divisive element. By failing to deliver acceptable legislation for women, the governor and legislative leaders have made it clear that they are willing to support disenfranchising women in order to appease their special-interest donors. It is my hope that a new Women's Equality Act can come forward early in the next session without the unpopular expansion of abortion that defeated it this time.

KEN MAHER

Sexual assaults and the military

Your editorial, like so many on the topic, is devoid of any context – which quite frankly, given your gender, is not a surprise ("Good. Old. Boys," Urban Journal). After reading it, one would think that the military was populated by roving brigands of rapists terrorizing women at all turns.

I am quite sure that there is some forcible rape in which a credible threat of either physical or social coercion is a key ingredient. Other cases, such as the recent one at the Naval Academy, involve alcohol. In that recent case, a young woman attended a party, drank herself unconscious and was allegedly raped by three young men. I will grant you that drinking yourself unconscious is neither an explicit or implicit consent to sexual activity but what was the young lady thinking?

As a man with four daughters, I have always stressed to them that you have to be responsible for yourself. This is a multifaceted problem that is not going to be solved by punishing the actions of young men and excusing the behavior of young women. None of their behaviors is what one would expect of a future officer.

Once again, forcible rape is another matter and needs to be dealt with forthwith.

AL GREGORIO

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