SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 25, 2012

Letter: Tisei an ally in the fight against cancer

To the editor:

Words cannot express my outrage at the disgraceful lies being bandied about the 6th Congressional District by the allies of incumbent John Tierney — this time the Washington insiders of the NEA’s national PAC. They claim that Richard Tisei tried to block women’s access to cancer screening. That is blatantly untrue. Allow me to interject actual facts into this farce.

As a senator, I co-authored and sponsored the Mammography Standards Act in 1992 while battling breast cancer myself; this was prior to breast cancer being a national priority. This groundbreaking piece of health care legislation had a three-pronged approach to attacking the scourge of breast cancer: education and awareness programs throughout the state, funding of innovative research in our world-class Massachusetts hospitals, and free mammography screening services for uninsured and underinsured women. At the same time, I authored and sponsored legislation that addressed inequities in access to chemotherapy for certain cancers. Four of the top five cancers targeted in this cancer treatment bill were women’s cancers. These initiatives became law because I had the support of both Republicans and Democrats. Fighting cancer should never be manipulated into a divisive partisan issue. Those of us fighting for our lives deserve better. Richard Tisei was one of my key allies for both initiatives. I saw him work to rally votes in the Republican caucus for these women’s cancer issues and then work to gain bipartisan support. That’s the approach we need in Washington.

I ask the voters, particularly the women of the 6th District a simple question, “Whom should you trust to tell you the truth about Richard Tisei’s long-standing support for women’s health?” You can believe me — a four-time cancer survivor, a former senator who actually worked with Richard Tisei on these specific issues, and a breast cancer survivor who has been right next to many of you in a chemotherapy infusion chair or at hundreds of marches and events to fight breast cancer during the past 20 years. Or you can believe paid political character assassins from Washington, D.C.

Nancy Achin Audesse

Wenham

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