Letter-Writing Wednesday: The Problem of Religious Pharmacists

One of my earliest blog posts was about right-wing pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions on religious grounds. It's still a problem.This week, I read this story of a Walgreens in New Mexico whose pharmacist refused to fill a woman's prescription for misoprostol. It's a common drug for stomach ulcers, but it also relaxes the cervix, which makes it useful for abortion, for inducing birth, or for preparing for an IUD insertion. You get one guess which of those uses this sanctimonious … [Read more...]

Letter-Writing Wednesday: Yes to Single-Payer

As bad as things are getting elsewhere in the U.S., my home state is quietly becoming a progressive mecca. First was the free public college plan that passed as part of the annual budget.But something much bigger is on the horizon. As of now, New York is on the verge of instituting statewide single-payer health care.This isn't a utopian pipe dream or a distant, idealistic fantasy. The bill, which is called the New York Health Act, is a reality; it's already passed the state legislature, … [Read more...]

Letter-Writing Wednesday: Three Cheers for Free College

[I sent a copy of this letter to Gov. Cuomo, my state senator and state representative.]To whom it may concern:I'm writing to applaud New York State's successful passage of a budget measure that makes tuition free for qualifying students at two-year and four-year public colleges. Our governor and our legislative leaders deserve the credit for making this happen. It's a a smart and generous political idea that I hope other states adopt, and I'm proud to see New York in the vanguard of … [Read more...]

Letter-Writing Wednesday: Andrew Cuomo’s Bad Faith

Dear Governor Cuomo:As a New York State resident and a Democrat, I was dismayed to read that you vetoed a bipartisan bill passed by the legislature to reform the state's woefully inadequate public-defender system. What's even more disgraceful is that you let the legislature pass the bill back in June of last year and then sat on it, waiting until the last possible moment to announce your veto, to ensure that the legislative session would be over and there'd be no chance to override it until … [Read more...]

Letter-Writing Wednesday: Don’t Help Republicans Govern

[For 2017, I made a New Year's resolution to make sure my elected officials hear from me more often. To hold myself accountable to that pledge, and hopefully to inspire others to do the same, I intend to post the letters I send on Daylight Atheism. I sent a version of this letter to my senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Feel free to reuse it or adapt it for your own purposes.]Dear Senator:After Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, Mitch McConnell declared that Republicans' … [Read more...]