Updated: July 17, 2013 6:37AM
I was recently appalled by comments made by Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham in a video re-posted by Huffington Post titled “Plan B Contraceptive Ruling ‘A good Deal’ for Pedophiles & Statutory Rapists.” Women’s reproductive health is a real issue, and Fox News suggesting that Plan B is an invitation for rape is offensive.
Over the past few years, there has been controversy over a woman’s access to reproductive health services, which led to the House of Representatives passing a bill to exempt hospitals from providing emergency abortion care, even if their lives were at risk, and eliminate funding for family-planning services, and in some states, forcing trans-vaginal ultrasounds on women who simply choose a legal abortion. This year, members of Congress have introduced legislation that would roll back birth-control coverage and allow employers to exclude contraception from pharmacists.
As for Rush Limbaugh, it’s insulting to say that Plan B “empowers men who want to abuse women.” This statement makes clear that I can’t expect the conservative right to protect me, and that’s why I have to protect my right to choose. I don’t care which side you’re on, but as a woman it should matter.
Lastly, I would also let Ms. Ingraham know that adolescent sexual health in this country is a real concern. Research shows that an estimated 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases occur each year with 1 in 4 adolescent girls aged 14-19 years being infected with at least one STI. In addition, about half of all pregnancies are unintended, and 1 in 5 women report having been the victim of sexual violence. Communication about sexual health among individuals, couples, families and communities is infrequent, and is a barrier to discourse around this topic.
In conclusion, I don’t understand Ingraham’s point of view, and it appears her argument is not based in reality. She is using fear to target the masses. Well, sorry Ingraham, I’m smarter than that. By making the morning-after pill available, we are one step closer to providing access where it’s needed most. Let’s hope that the promise of reproductive health services will not be stripped away by the threat of a radical conservative agenda.
Susanna M. Ramos, Oak Park
The new Cook County Jail medical facility will improve access to health care for inmates — that’s good, but what about when they get out? Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed half of the public mental health clinics that provide follow-up care to released inmates. They need care, and the jail facility won’t help them. We need more, not less, mental health services — people with mental illness can be treated for a fraction of the cost of putting them in jail, not to mention that treatment relieves suffering for these people and their families. We need the mental health clinics re-opened and we need still more of them.
Anne Scheetz, Logan Square
Illinois politicians too power hungry
Illinois’s top two Democrats, Michael Madigan and John Cullerton, can do anything they want in this state. Republican Tom Cross summed it up perfectly in saying that they passed the largest tax increase in the history of the state. They, along with the media, will do anything to diminish the prospects of Pat Quinn winning another term as governor in 2014 in favor of media darling Lisa Madigan. But daddy using his power to get Lisa elected governor? “Absurd” cries Lisa. “Ridiculous” echoes Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon. The two most powerful men in the state keep selling us the snake oil that they can’t get a pension deal passed. Two words that better describe this situation would be “greed” and “nepotism.”
Scott Sinclair, Gurnee
O’Hare plan doesn’t fly
Hundreds of homes and businesses in my town and neighboring Elk Grove Village were demolished to make way for the much ballyhooed expansion of O’Hare Airport. Now we hear that O’Hare ranks dead last in on-time departures. Sounds like the mayor’s “economic engine” needs an overhaul.
Dan McGuire, Bensenville
No child left behind falls short
What really determines a student’s intellectual level?
After speaking with several Chicago Public School teachers, they each firmly believe that the “No Child Left Behind Act” should be re-evaluated. This policy has been unsuccessful and needs to be amended. Though the NCLB Act is centered on the belief that implementing high standards on standardized tests and creating measurable goals will result in greater educational achievements in every student, it is not realistic. I believe that this is not only making the students feel pressured to test well, but it is also causing them feel like failures if they do not meet these high standards. What happened to allowing student the right to intellectual freedom? This annual test is structured around reading, math and writing, keeping the students from reaching their full potential. The test does not care about other interests students may have in art, music and social studies. If standardized tests are going to be a requirement, it should be centered on all subjects, to allow students the ability to show all their academic strengths.
This law is also forcing educators to structure their lesson plans around this test. A Chicago teacher stated that she just teaches what’s going to be on the test. She wants to make sure that her students are well prepared because this law states that she is essentially accountable for her students’ success. This alone can cause educators to feel stressed because they will be judged on how well each student in their class performs. Placing so much emphasis on a test is not what is going to determine the intellect for every child, nor is it a measuring tool for the quality of a teacher. Learning starts at home, and I recommend that parents be held more accountable for the outcome of their child’s success. Implementing personal achievement goals for each student will be more effective.
Cha’Von Hines, Bronzeville