When Ravalli County Commissioners choose to reject funding for a necessary public service, we must, of course, ask the question “why?” The Ravalli County Commission’s decision to reject Title X Family Planning funding is unprecedented in 40 years of public service. The 400 community members who will lose their health care are surely asking the same question. Why?
Is it because young people have the privacy to access their own health care? That has been mentioned as a concern; however, the truth is that only one client was under the age of 16 last year. Is it because the public health clinic offers contraceptives? The truth is that over 99 percent of women who have been sexually active have used contraceptives. Or is it because the 400 people affected are largely women of low economic status who may often be marginalized from the public policy discourse? Maybe the commissioners voting against the funding don’t think that this move will hurt them politically.
But it will.
As we have seen across the nation, public officials choosing policies that hurt women end up damaging their own careers. We will not be silent. We will not allow big government to get between a woman and her healthcare provider. We will fight back.
Commissioners Burrows, Stoltz and Foss: Now is the time to reconsider. Bring back Title X funding to Ravalli County. Women and our allies are watching.
NARAL Pro-Choice Montana