Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte attended a news conference Jan. 29 at the Niagara Falls International Airport, where it was announced that the airport would be taken over by the Spanish company Cintra. By doing so, she missed a critical vote in the Assembly that will affect the lives of thousands of residents of her district.
The Assembly voted to pass the Women's Health and Wellness Act (A2006), a lifesaving measure that would provide insurance coverage for bone-density screening for osteoporosis, mammograms for women 40 or older, cervical cytology screening and contraceptives.
This legislation addresses women's health-care needs by focusing on prevention. It is desperately needed in New York State, which ranked 51st in women's health in a study done by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
By choosing to be absent on the day Women's Health and Wellness was voted on, DelMonte has sent a clear message to her constituents that women's health is simply not one of her priorities. Instead of casting her vote in favor of breaking down barriers for women, she chose to attend a news conference for a business contract that was already completed.
As a member of the Buffalo/Niagara Chapter of the National Organization for Women, I am appalled at DelMonte's lack of concern for women's issues. As a result of her absence, the women of Niagara Falls have been denied representation in the Legislature.
AMY L. SMITH