I have been raised in this valley and feel privileged to have had the opportunities to grow and be nurtured here. Next year, I will get to vote for the first time.
In anticipation, I followed this year's election closely. I was especially disenchanted by what seemed more than a perception that the Republican Party seemed to dismiss and marginalize the needs and concerns of women.
When the Garfield County commissioners singled out Planned Parenthood for de-funding in December, I received a powerful message. The three white, male Republicans who represent our community dismissed the health needs of marginalized women in our county.
I have used Planned Parenthood for nonabortion services. I have helped friends in distress reach out to Planned Parenthood for nonabortion women's health services.
Using the words of the failed senatorial candidate from Missouri, it seems that our commissioners believe that "the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down." Not true. Not acceptable.
Planned Parenthood's funding request was to help women in need access pap smears and mammograms. I guess preventing women from dying of cancer isn't on our commissioners' agenda. Shameful.
How does the ratio of funds expended for abortions (albeit none from tax money) to those spent for all other health services by Planned Parenthood compare to the ratio of funds spent by the Catholic Church to protect pedophiles and an authoritarian, all-male hierarchy of privilege, property and power to what it spends on services to the poor? Just wondering.
Personally, I'd rather see my tax dollars support Planned Parenthood, not only for the value of its services, but equally for the fact that they are delivered with respect, not judgment.
But the needs of both groups' clients are real and pressing. I have never begrudged Catholic Charities of our county its tax-supported funding, nor pressured officials to withhold it because the behavior of its parent organization offends and distresses me.
Shame on Commissioner John Martin for pandering to those who would score political points at the expense of vulnerable members of our community.