Ravalli County Commissioners Suzy Foss, Ron Stoltz and Jeff Burrows voted against us on Friday. They refused to accept our taxpayer dollars back from the federal government for our family planning services, which provide us and our neighbors with cancer screenings, STD screenings, birth control and pre-natal care to name a few (see "etc.," Sept. 19). Lack of screening leads to disease. Lack of birth control leads to pregnancy or abortion.
Hundreds of people took off work for three long meetings last week to voice their support for family planning funds, which do not include abortion. Since two of them were Board of Health meetings, only Mr. Burrows was required to be there. Ms. Foss and Mr. Stoltz, who also voted against accepting the funds, missed 5-plus hours of testimony from the public, even though their presence was requested.
The family planning office will be closed for good on Sept. 30. Patients who have appointments on Oct. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., will have to scramble for an appointment. It takes a minimum of six weeks to get an appointment in an affordable Missoula clinic. Ms. Foss, Mr. Stoltz and Mr. Burrows voted to close down a clinic within 30 days without offering anything to replace it.
Your rising insurance costs will be thanks to Ms. Foss, who said that the hospital will have to absorb the costs of the preventative care of the 400-plus patients who need someplace to go.
Remember these votes. They voted against you. Vote against them. Vote against Suzy Foss in 2014. Vote against Ron Stoltz in 2014. Vote against Jeff Burrows in 2014.
If you need cancer screening or family planning services, please call the commissioners at 375-6500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.