In response to Dr. Alan Bradley's letter (“Contraceptive coverage for the greater good,” Thursday): His being a doctor, I am disappointed, yet not surprised that he overlooked an alternative to contraception that is safe, effective and free. Most non-Catholics and Catholics alike are quick to judge the hegemony, as you say, of the church, but few have actually taken the time to understand the church's teachings on contraception. Responsible parenthood is that which is being preached by the church through natural family planning. When used properly, it is just as effective if not more as hormonal contraceptives. To practice natural family planning, all a woman needs is some basic education, a basal thermometer and the self-control to abstain from intercourse while she is fertile, which may be eight to 12 days a month. What I also find disappointing is the lack of knowledge about the dangers of contraceptives. The World Health Organization has labeled hormonal contraceptives a group one carcinogen, in the same class as cigarettes and asbestos. Fertility and pregnancy are physiological states of healthy individuals. So why are we treating women when they are perfectly healthy? And why are we treating them with carcinogens? According to the Guttmacher Institute, increases in contraception use lead to an increased demand in abortion. Abortion is a backup plan to failed contraception. The more accessible contraception becomes, the higher abortion rates become. This contradicts the theory that there will be more abortions if these underprivileged women are not provided with free contraception. I may not be a doctor, but I speak from personal experience having been on both sides of the fence.