Thankful for comprehensive health services

The Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center’s local funding recently came under attack. This is my response.

If you are thankful for reproductive health services and providers, take a minute to write to the legislators – local and federal – who have your back and thank them for their continued support. Make sure they hear our voices too and not just the voices of those who wish to take away our access to affordable, medically accurate information and services.

Dear Boulder County Commissioners,

I want to thank you for your continued support of Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center and their Longmont Teen Clinic.

The funding provided to them in Boulder County’s annual budget is crucial to their mission and critical to their ability to provide services not just to women, but also men, and to teens.

I want to speak specifically to the importance of providing confidential, safe and affordable services to this last group, teens.

This is one of our most vulnerable populations, and one of the most underserved. It is on their behalf that I thank you for the stance you have taken to continue funding BVWHC and the Longmont Teen Clinic.

While I understand the concerns of some of the speakers at the last meeting who were upset that BVWHC and the Teen Clinic provide health services to teens without parental notification and consent, the truth is that many teens who need these services do not have the understanding or support of their parents in seeking those services. As a result, requiring parental notification could result in a spike in teen pregnancies and STDS.

As you pointed out at the meeting, the risks of not providing services to teens far outweighs the risks of denying them services or requiring consent from unsupportive parents.

In addition, even teens with supportive parents who provide them with the information that they need to make healthy decisions still sometimes need to talk to someone who is not a parent, who will not judge them for their choices or mistakes and who can help them to move into the future as healthy and responsible adults.

As you so rightly pointed out, the clinic is in compliance with all state and federal notification and funding laws, and state funds are not being used for abortions, nor are teens being provided with abortion services outside of Colorado law.

It is critical that we maintain affordable and complete access to reproductive health services for teens as well as providing them with medically accurate comprehensive sex and reproductive information.

Banning sex education and access to health services does not stop sexual behavior, it only makes those behaviors more risky. Likewise, providing access to comprehensive reproductive information and health services does not increase sexual activity, it tends to decrease it and to make that behavior less risky when it does occur.

Thank you again for your continued support of this critical local health provider. I hope that they continue to be available when my own children need them.

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2 Comments

Filed under Of Course I'm a Feminist, Rant

2 responses to “Thankful for comprehensive health services

  1. Tim Monahan-Mitchell

    “Banning sex education and access to health services does not stop sexual behavior, it only makes those behaviors more risky.”

    It also makes it more rampant, The organizations that are pushing sex education, free birth control and the like, without parent intervention or control know this. More sexual activity with or without birth control, results in more unplanned pregnancies and STD spread. In turn, this means more demand for abortion and other “corrective” services which are not free (whether “free” to the individual or not, the services are not free to taxpayers).

    For example, this report indicates that 54% of those having abortions were using a protection method, which of course failed:

    http://www.lifenews.com/2011/01/11/report-shows-contraception-failure-54-used-before-abortion/

    I invite you do do your own research, Please follow the money.

    • Oh, I just love being told to do my own research. Because you see, I have. And while I have checked out the “Pro-life” aka “anti-choice” websites and read their misleading propaganda, I have also done real research and read real facts, statistics and studies on this very issue.
      I’ll start by taking your advice and following the money –
      An abortion costs around $600 it is a quick, safe, outpatient procedure. It is often performed at a discounted rate to help poor women, underserved populations and victims of rape and incest. In many of these cases the doctors take the loss. In some cases private donations make up the difference. Never are tax payer dollars used.
      Giving birth to a baby in a hospital costs $10,000-$15,000 if there aren’t any complications. A C-section adds another $10,000. Premature birth another $10,000 Other complications continue to add costs.
      None of that factors in the prenatal care, checkups, vitamins, etc. Oh, and none of the OB-GYNs I know will deliver a kid for free for a poor woman, a teen, or just because someone was raped or the victim of incest.
      So, someone facing an unintended pregnancy could conceivably go bankrupt delivering that unwanted child to the world. When these women can’t pay – sometimes the government will step in to help, spending your tax money to bring an unwanted child into the world and often into the state-subsidized foster-care and correctional systems!
      Then – continuing to follow the money – adoption. Another $10,000-$20,000, this time paid to an agency and shared, sort of, sometimes, with the birth mom. Though that may still not cover the actual cost of delivering the child!
      So, following the money alone tells me that there is a vested financial interest in producing more live babies. Doctors win, drug companies win, adoption agencies win.
      Who loses? Women. Women who may suffer complications from an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy which forces them to lose their job, go on welfare, endanger their other living children’s health. Women who have to pay the cost of bringing a child they do not want into the world and then face the decision to hand it off to someone else to raise or again put their own well-being, career and future at risk.
      “But she had sex, she deserves it.” is often the response I get to this – yet the man who helped put that baby there is never hung on the line to dry, never forced to pay for his slutty behavior.
      And it’s not just “sluts” who need reproductive health services. It’s wives, and mothers and our military women too. Unless of course you’re suggesting that I should stop having sex with my husband because we are done having children?
      Oh, and I’ll see your “pro-life” biased link and raise you this news item –
      http://www.policymic.com/articles/20410/texas-to-refund-family-planning-babies-are-more-expensive-than-the-pill
      and this opinion piece from a former pro-lifer –
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html
      Your turn.

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