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Having access to contraceptives and getting them for free are two different things

9:45 AM EST, February 27, 2012

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Letter writer Anita L. Feith writes that it's hard to believe that in 2012 access to contraception is in the spotlight of a national debate ("Standing up for contraception," Feb. 23). One reason Ms. Feith probably finds this hard to believe is because it isn't true.

There is no national debate about whether to restrict access to contraception. The debate is about whether contraception should be paid for in the form of handouts from insurance companies or the government, both of which would pass along the cost to all consumers.

By Ms. Feith's logic — that anything other people won't buy for you is something you're being denied — I've been denied automobiles, clothing and food my entire adult life.

Where I do agree with Mr. Feith is that in this age of entitlement, it's a bit surprising that anyone has the mettle to say no to paying for something that someone else wants for free.

It's a bit disconcerting that so often those on both sides of the aisle blur the lines of truth when trying to make their point.

Many on the right claim that 50 percent of Americans pay no taxes. That's not true, and it doesn't tell the whole story. Half of Americans pay no income taxes, which is a different thing altogether.

On the other hand, many on the left fail to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants when the topic of immigration comes up. Yet the word "illegal" is germane to the discussion.

Now some folks are blurring the line between not having something given to them for free and being denied access to it. It's simply not the same thing.

Given the exploding world population, there may be an argument for government involvement in family planning, including efforts to increase the use of contraception and subsidize the needs of the poor.

But the argument can't be that we all are somehow entitled to have everything we want given to us for free, or that we're somehow being treated unfairly when that doesn't happen.

Michael DeCicco, Severna Park