A Tough Pill to Swallow

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I applaud your reporting on an important health issue affecting many college women: the prescription drug price hike on college campuses that is forcing many women to forgo their birth control ["The Pill's Price on Campus," October 22].

The inevitable and unfortunate consequence of this financial burden will be a spike in unintended pregnancies and abortions. Sexually transmitted disease rates could also rise as women stop getting the annual health exams required to fill their prescriptions. Acting responsibly shouldn't be a matter of cost. College health centers have helped cash-strapped women access affordable birth control for decades. Prescription drug costs and college tuition have ballooned under the Bush administration's watch. The administration now has the ability to close a loophole and correct the prescription birth control price hike.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

New York  

As the mother of five daughters and the grandmother of seven girls, I was sickened to read about this 19-year-old's problem. She doesn't know what to do? Here are some suggestions: Abstain from sexual activity until you're married; have male partners pay for the pills; do what you're in college for—get an education; grow up.

Dorothy Huebner

Glenview, Ill.  

The pill problem should comeas no surprise to anyone who follows the machinations of our government. Congress is incapable of writing legislation devoid of unintended consequences. This situation should give Americans a picture of what will happen when government gets control of the healthcare system.

William P. O'Brien

Poway, Calif.  

There are several significant advantages in adopting the abstinence lifestyle. It costs nothing, helps prevent STDs and related diseases, does not infuse the body with any unnecessary medication, relieves unwanted consequences, and permits one to concentrate more fully on the primary reason for attending college in the first place.

Francis A. Nealon

Milford, Mass.  

I will admit to being old enoughto be the grandfather of most of the young women in college, but I seem to recall that there are ways to prevent pregnancy other than by using the pill. I believe that when it comes to teaching their children personal responsibility, many parents are failing.

Ronald W. Hoy

Camp Verde, Ariz.