The news article, In Weld County A New Plan B, was not the article I had intended to write when I sat down to complete my latest class assignment. My intention was to interview experts in Weld County who would be knowledgeable about impacts to the community stemming from the 2010 Weld County Commissioners decision to stop providing Plan B (emergency contraception commonly known as the morning-after pill) at their clinics. I expected to find opinions on both sides of the fence. Instead, I found that the experts I attempted to contact in Weld County were either unable or unwilling to respond. Bottom line; no one would say anything and it shocked me. In fact, it still does.
It’s been my experience that when the response is disproportionate to the question being asked, the response is the answer and their response was disturbing; because by refusing to take part in this discussion they are at best condoning the compromise of choice and at worst advocating it.
Personal choice is not something that we can afford to incrementally dispense with because, today. it doesn’t effect our lives. The Greeley community seems to understand that, even if their leaders don’t. A poll conducted by the Greeley Tribune on Jan. 26, 2013 showed that 67.19% of the people interviewed believed that the Weld County commissioners should reconsider their decision about the morning-after pill. Recently, Planned Parenthood, who operates the only TWO clinics in Weld County that dispense emergency contraception, have gathered over 60 signatures in a petition that concludes by saying, ” The Commissioners should revisit this decision, in a public meeting, with expert medical testimony. The women and families of Weld County deserve a commission committed to transparency and a healthy community.”
Based on the strange thing that happened to me on my way to Weld County, I’m afraid they’re in for an uphill battle. For almost three years this group of county commissioners has effectively boxed in choice and may have realistically eliminated it for a vulnerable part of their community; all the while avoiding paying any of the costs associated with finding emergency contraception elsewhere. No wonder they won’t comment, but what do other social service agencies, a local university Community Health department and other experts have to gain by refusing to comment?
Since I don’t have any answers, maybe I should ask Flo about it.
Well, I thought, at least it doesn’t smell as bad as I remember. The smells of stale urine and unwashed bodies have stubbornly embedded themselves in my memory, causing an involuntary gag reflex to kick in when I walk into a nursing home and catch the first whiff. I knew Mackenzie Place had lots of visitors on Sunday afternoons and I hoped I could interview an older woman about choice and abortion without gagging.
Approaching the lobby I noticed a petite lady sitting in the corner; she looked at me with a sparkle in her eye and said “Hi, I’m Flo.” I smiled nervously, sat down and introduced myself. Looking me over, she announced “I’m almost 82 years old and I’m done. If I had my choice, and of course I don’t, I’d be gone. I’ve had a marvelous life, full of adventure and love and I don’t want to hang around and watch myself decline.” Murmuring agreement, I asked, “About choice, do you think a woman has right to choose to abort? Why do you think it bothers men so much?” “Well” she replied, “I think it is a woman’s choice to abort and she should only do it when she has to. Men don’t give a damn about the women; it’s all about their male heir. It’s like women are hurting their manhood, their spermhood.”
Startled, I looked at her; that idea had never crossed my mind. But as I listened, for little over an hour, to her enthusiastic description of a life defined by 56 years of marriage and her husband’s interests, I realized that maybe Flo had an insight into men’s psyche that I hadn’t recognized.
I am looking forward to discovering if Flo has a valid point as I cover stories about choice and abortion.