Even if you've never been to a Planned Parenthood health center, someone you know has. One in five American women will come to a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in her life.
So when the Garfield County commissioners voted to remove $5,000 in funding from our health center, we couldn't stand idly by. The result of their decision will take critical health care services away from the people in our region who are most in need. They are our neighbors, our family, our co-workers, and our friends.
We hope the county commissioners understand that Planned Parenthood is an integral part of the health care system.
The Garfield County grant directly benefited patients seen at our Glenwood health center, a local entity and part of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM).
PPRM operates independently from our national federation. We are a community partner, working every day to keep our neighbors healthy. Every service this fund helped subsidize was preventive medicine: cancer screenings, Pap tests, annual exams, contraception, and STD testing and treatment.
Last year, the Glenwood health center saw nearly 3,000 patients, 60 percent of whom fell below 150 percent of the federal poverty line. In Glenwood alone, Planned Parenthood performed more than 1,100 STD tests including HIV, more than 400 Pap tests, and provided nearly 8,200 methods of contraception.
Often, we are the only source of health care in our community for many of our patients. We operate on a sliding scale fee, dependent upon the patient's income and household size. We are the "go to" place for women seeking high-quality health care at low cost.
Fortunately, there are members in our community who understand the intricate role Planned Parenthood plays in keeping the community healthy. Since this article first appeared, we've heard from many of them. Because they care deeply about the well-being of their fellow citizens, many have stepped forward with donations. We, and the people they are helping through Planned Parenthood, appreciate that. With donor support, Planned Parenthood will continue its critical work in Glenwood Springs.
Vicki Cowart, President and CEO
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
I'm addressing state Sen. Steve King's solution to the violence in our schools.
It's disconcerting to read that his idea of providing safety in public schools is to "put a resource officer in every school that wants one."
Evidently his comments came after Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the National Rifle Association, suggested that we do so. Since when does our government and the public get their marching orders from the NRA?
Columbine High School had armed security guards on duty. Why doesn't Sen. King ask the families who lost their loved ones at that time how that worked for them?
The only way to stop this carnage is to control the gun lobbies and those who benefit from the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Richard and Eva Staley