Billings Gazette, Feb. 6, on the abortion battle’s impact on different health care issues:
Montanans — and all Americans — ought to be involved anytime a lawmaker tries to inform your physician what to do.
Most politicians aren’t docs, so they need to depart medical care as much as the specialists.
That’s why we proceed to help the fitting for women to make their very own selection about their our bodies and contraception. Freedom of selection is foundational to our American expertise.
However, we’re additionally involved that by specializing in one process, abortion, it distracts from different extra essential subjects dealing with women, health care and contraception.
We discover the follow disconcerting, and consider it must be a way of final resort in contraception. In fact, statistics present that the variety of abortions has decreased steadily and it isn’t the most cost effective choice for contraception.
While we applaud the Montana American Civil Liberties Union for tackling the authorized challenge of whether or not the state can restrict the medical suppliers who present abortion, we additionally fear that the fixed give attention to abortion detracts from different extra urgent features in Montana.
The ACLU might certainly argue that its present authorized problem has much less to do with abortions and extra to do with a state interfering with medical care from a supplier. We perceive that argument, and we’re involved anytime Helena tries to get between a physician and a affected person.
However, due to the politically charged situation of abortion, it performs an outsized position in politics. It’s a key wedge situation, when the truth is that it impacts a small portion of Montana. In 2014, the newest statistics out there, there have been lower than 1,700 abortions carried out. Experts stated the variety of Montana residents who acquired abortions have been in all probability much less as a result of some women might have traveled to the state to have the process carried out right here.
Still, the statistics are small, however the concern looms giant in politics as conservatives proceed to rally round it, although any variety of issues have an effect on extra Montanans.
This distraction comes on the expense of a bigger matter — women’s health and contraception. Access to health care in Montana, particularly in rural areas, is essential. And, it isn’t simply restricted to contraception — it is all health care issues. Some counties have confronted the potential for not having a training physician even dwelling inside their borders.
As Congress has begun to dismantle budgets and the Affordable Care Act, entry to health clinics, particularly people who present health look after women and single moms, stays in jeopardy. Moreover, as some employers declare a spiritual exemption from having to supply contraception as a part of their prescription drug profit, the difficulty of entry and affordability turn into extra urgent than abortion.
Granted, each of these issues are linked.
No one touts abortion as the best choice for contraception. However, when women do not have entry to health care or reasonably priced contraception, abortion turns into an inevitable various to an undesirable being pregnant.
We would assume if extra conservative residents loathed abortion a lot, they might be doing every thing of their energy to make sure that women had entry to health care and reasonably priced contraception.
As we proceed to debate the federal price range, we can’t be so distracted by the battle over abortion that we lose sight of the tens of hundreds of Montana women who get their health care by means of group clinics, or depend on reasonably priced and accessible technique of contraception.
We help the work the ACLU is doing as a result of it is important to ensure that Roe v. Wade isn’t overturned by a collection of more and more limiting legislative measures. However, we hope that as we struggle this one, single problem, that we’re not dropping sight of a a lot bigger problem during which we make women determined as a result of they do not have health care or reasonably priced contraception.
Being anti-abortion has to additionally imply we care concerning the lives and health of the moms, too.
Missoulian, Feb. 5, on how the University of Montana dealt with complaints a few coach:
Members of the University of Montana women’s soccer workforce had considerations about Coach Mark Plakorus — considerations they shared with college officers.
Their complaints ought to have been taken extra critically. The allegations have been troubling sufficient to warrant a direct and thorough investigation, and the outcomes of that investigation ought to have been offered to those that introduced the matter to mild to be able to reassure them that the suitable steps have been being taken to resolve it.
Instead, officers took motion solely after discovering some texts from Plakorus’s university-issued telephone to a Las Vegas escort service. And that motion included permitting Plakorus to resign quietly, with out proudly owning as much as the actual cause he was fired.
Some gamers have been rightly pained to study final week that Plakorus was not going to be held accountable for the disturbing sample of inappropriate conduct he has been accused of through the years, and that he can be free to quietly transfer on and probably repeat that conduct in a brand new setting.
The soccer gamers and assistant coaches who spoke up about Plakorus deserved higher. Those who spoke to the Missoulian famous that they went to officers reluctantly, not eager to make an already troublesome state of affairs much more uncomfortable.
They did the suitable factor, and the University of Montana ought to take pains to emphasise this level. It’s a chance for the college to ship an necessary message to the complete campus group that such complaints will probably be heard and sexual harassment won’t be tolerated.
Yet initially, the college was set on sticking to a model of occasions that had Plakorus voluntarily agreeing that “it was time for him to move on,” as Athletic Director Kent Haslam put it. The Missoulian needed to prod them into admitting the actual purpose.
UM President Seth Bodnar deserves all due credit score for making certain that this incident was not stored coated up. The Missoulian contacted Bodnar immediately to induce that the college stand by its dedication to transparency, and final week, he confirmed that he will get why this dedication is so essential.
This got here simply days after the brand new president informed college students one among his prime priorities is making a protected setting for college kids. To do this, the college must be forthright about the actual causes academics and coaches are abruptly faraway from their jobs. Bodnar demonstrated that he understands overlaying up painful incidents solely makes them worse, and that solely by dealing with them head-on, and publicly, can the college present it has discovered from the teachings of the previous. It was a very good first step for the brand new president. But it must be adopted by many comparable steps if UM really needs to vary its tradition and mend its status. Anything much less is mere lip service.
And that’s the reason the preliminary dealing with of this incident is so deeply disappointing. Instead of applauding the greater than a dozen soccer staff members who spoke up for his or her position in uncovering Plakorus’s textual content historical past, Haslam emphasised that the “climate survey” of the group performed no position within the determination to not renew Plakorus’s contract — primarily sending the message that their considerations did not matter. Describing these complaints, which got here from a number of individuals over a interval of a number of years, as “circumstantial evidence” solely added insult to damage.
To be clear, a gaggle of gamers reported that their coach was texting them excessively and at inappropriate occasions. They advised the Missoulian that he would frequently contact younger women’s legs or play with their hair. They stated the 49-year-old Plakorus matched with women their age on the courting app Tinder, and that he would typically shut the door once they have been alone in his workplace, a violation of college coverage.
Fittingly, the Title IX Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action was requested to assist look into the matter, and group members have been surveyed about their perceptions and experiences relating to sexual harassment and assault. However, the workplace didn’t provoke a proper investigation. And now that Plakorus has left, there will probably be no further investigation. But that does not imply the college’s work on this matter is completed.
After stumbling initially, college officers did take the appropriate steps towards a real decision of this sad incident. The determination to not renew Plakorus’s contract was clearly the proper one. They ought to have been upfront concerning the cause why Plakorus was fired from the very starting. They ought to have adopted up with the staff to make sure they felt their considerations have been acknowledged.
They shouldn’t have needed to be goaded into doing the fitting factor, however because of the dogged willingness of those that spoke as much as hold speaking about it, they ultimately have been.
And that is a message that bears repeating. When it involves sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct of any type, do not ever permit silence to comb the reality away. Speak up. And maintain talking up.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Feb. four, on proposed updates to the state’s tax coverage:
An area assume tank has produced a report that factors out what must be painfully apparent to state lawmakers: Our tax coverage is outdated and doesn’t mirror modifications within the state financial system. An over-reliance on taxing fossil fuels contributed to a $227 million deficit that pressured the Legislature to make some deep cuts to badly wanted packages late final yr.
“An over-reliance on resource taxes may be generating a gap between where the economy is generating value and where the state generates revenue,” the report says.
According to the report, produced by Headwaters Economics for a legislative committee, Montana’s financial system is shifting away from non-service jobs in development, manufacturing and pure assets and towards service-related jobs in health care and tourism.
The report’s authors conclude that one treatment for the state’s outdated tax system can be a basic gross sales tax. But there merely is not the political will for such a tax proper now and doubtless will not be for the foreseeable future. But state lawmakers are going to have to seek out their method to a compromise on the difficulty or we’ll proceed to endure by means of price range cuts and an over-reliance on property taxpayers who’re approaching their breaking level.
The state Legislature has stubbornly refused to permit cities to ask voters to impose tourism-taxes in locations like Bozeman the place vacationers are spending tens of millions of dollars which are barely taxed. Lawmakers apparently worry increasing tourism tax authority to bigger cities will result in what is going to primarily be a statewide gross sales tax. But maybe these fears is usually a allayed and a center floor could be discovered with a strict restrict on the tax — say 1.5 % on items and providers vacationers sometimes use — and a mandate that the income collected go towards property tax aid.
A glut within the fossil gasoline markets and a worldwide development towards non-carbon-producing types of various power sources will imply a continued decline in taxes on these commodities. And with an estimated 60 % of state revenue coming from the service sector and a mere 15 % from non-services, we’ve to discover a strategy to get extra state authorities income from the service sector.
Montana’s financial system is altering and our tax coverage must be modified to mirror that. And getting some income from the rising numbers of vacationers coming to the state must be a part of that.
Strictly restricted, voter-approved native tourism taxes in tourism-heavy cities must be one thing a majority of legislators can get behind.
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