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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

6/13/2013 2:27:00 PM
Letter: Family planning under attack


On June 7, 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that women and men have the right to privacy in making decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, legalizing contraception. Forty-eight years later, the promise of the Griswold decision is on the verge of being fulfilled but the family planning provider network and its patients are under attack.

In 1999, the CDC ranked family planning as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Today, a majority of women and men in America support access to contraception regardless of income or insurance status. Publicly funded health centers like ours provide preventive care to thousands of clients every year, including Pap tests, breast cancer and STI screenings, contraceptive services and counseling. These basic services are critical to improving the health and well-being of men, women and children across Arizona.

Brenda L. "Bré" Thomas, CEO

Arizona Family Health Partnership

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: @ MJ

Re: "Other folks have a romp in the hay and I get to pay for it???"

As I understand it, the basic liberal argument is that folks will romp in the hay. So which is more sensible: Give them contraceptive services now, or pay for mothers with dependent children, foster care, and more prison facilities later?

The basic conservative argument is that most folks are capable of romping responsibly on their own. Private/parochial assistance is more equitable (and more effective) than government programs. And public giveaways undermine the religious imperatives some folks need to chose long-term gain over short-term gratification.

Meanwhile, extremists on both sides attack anything that doesn't force compliance with their agenda .

Not quite persecution, but pervasive enough to worry grandparents who can remember when rubbers were unmentionable "prophylactics," unwed mothers had to be shipped out of town, and sterilization was an acceptable civil penalty for a number of offences, particularly when offenders were members of "inferior" ethnic groups.

Maybe non-radical liberals and conservatives should both be asking:

"What happened to those ubiquitous, anonymous prophylactic dispensers?"

"Why do reproductive health clinics require yards of forms and rely on expensive tests and pricey prescriptions? "

"Why shouldn't family planning services be totally separate from clinics specializing in surgical procedures like vasectomies and abortions?"

"For that matter, if human life begins before conception, why aren't doctors who perform tubal ligations and vasectomies also targets of righteous rage?

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: David In Cottonwood

@ Gaia Gurl

Sorry, I can't resist rubbing your nose in ...

You wrote - "Iím not interested in a TRANSLATION."

Well, yes you are, as evidenced by your follow on statement - "My BIBLE says . . . THOU SHALL NOT KILL!"

YOUR bible is just another translation, you can't be both 'not interested in a translation' and interested in 'Your BIBLE' at the same time.

Interesting bumble for a self-professed educator.

"THOU SHALT NOT KILL", most popularly coined by the KJV of the bible, was the result of a misinterpretation of the Hebrew verb r-s-h, or 'retzach'(to murder). 54 appointed scholars created the KJV under the direction of James the 1st of England. They completed their translation under a set of restrictions established by King James that ensured a good many of the translation mistakes made in the previous Bishops Bible were carried on into the new translation and flourished for centuries. Nobody in that day was going to argue with the King over a project that was going to carry his name.

The original Hebrew makes clear distinctions between criminal slaying and justifiable homicide, even making allowances for revenge killings by a close blood relative against a murder suspect prior to trial. 16th and 17th century English, as well as earlier translations of the Torah, frequently got this wrong.

As has been pointed out, newer translations correct this oversight. If you are as conscientious a believer as you want everyone to believe you are, I would expect you to want to be as accurate in your beliefs as it is currently possible to be. As you style yourself as an educator I would expect that need for accuracy to be greater still. Interesting that itís not for you, GG.

But then I've never been fooled into thinking you are an educator or anything else of consequence.

If it works for YOU and YOUR GOD to continue in the dissemination of inaccuracies, then by all means continue, it is indeed your right.

@ Darold Smith

Thank you for bringing that up, that historical tidbit, along with reams of information in the Founders own words make a lie of the ĎChristian Nationí meme. But don't be too hard on the 'faithful', where their beliefs are concerned one is fighting a fundamental flaw in the psychology of man that needs to be filled with the belief in something bigger themselves, and where it intersects with American history one must battle against the entrenched and directed brainwashing of over 200 years of popular political and social thought.
I wish folks could be more enlightened, but I certainly donít hold their faith against them, especially where it makes some people far better citizens than they might otherwise be.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: MORE than 22 bibles?!

Hmm. I hope they're not all Gideon's.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Darold smith

to the people who believe that we are a Christian Nation I suggest that you read the whole treaty.


Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

So NOW you are going to TELL me WHICH Bible to read?

I have more than 22 Bibles . . .

I will stick with the ones that say . . .


Because it works FOR ME and MY GOD.


I really don't CARE what you believe. AND THIS is exactly why I cannot stand MOST "CHRISTIANS."

You all seem to think YOU are God and YOU can make the rules and LAWS for everyone else, just like DICTATORS.

You just don't get it, DO YOU?

Do you even know that Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Society of Friends, Buddhists, Amish and many many other religions are LEGAL contientious objectors DUE to OUR beliefs.

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Bless you too Wait a Second

Because don't we all need God's blessings!

But see, here's the thing: When Fundamentalist Christians of all flavors, including Roman Catholic, say that Christianity is being "persecuted," what they are REALLY saying is that those of other faiths have the "unmitigated gall" to differ with them! Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is the farthest thing from "persecution" -- it is nothing more than each person exercising the freedom of religion and speech given us by our Constitution.


Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: not interested in a TRANSLATION?

Then you should dump YOUR bible and learn HEBREW, ARAMAIC, and, for the New Testament, GREEK.

Here's a start:

"...why hasn't anyone CORRECTED itÖ"
Some have. Here are various translations in twenty different English-language bibles:

Paraphrasing Luke 4:23:
Teacher, educate yourself!

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

I am not interested in a TRANSLATION.

My BIBLE says . . .


. . . murder
. . . but your God sure can
. . . but it is just a suggestion
. . . unless your President says you can

The BIBLE has been changed and EDITED over the centuries, so if that is a BETTER translation, then why hasn't anyone CORRECTED it in more than 2000 years?

Who said I was an athiest? I am a Christian, one who believes my FAITH is between ME and my God. Not something to flaunt or piously LORD over people. PRIVATE.

God gave us free will, so WHY won't YOU?

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Wait a second

Christians are being persecuted here in America, the Land of the Free. It is troubling that most of those commenting here will not hear the Truth and they will not come to the table for a legitimate moral honest conversation on not only contraception, but all the other hot button topics we hear about today.

The atheist/non-believer only has the position of mockery to fall back on. The Catholic/Christian merely stands up for our religious beliefs that have come from 2,000 years of Tradition and Divine Revelation from Jesus Christ in his teachings from the Church he founded, and now we get mocked and made fun of? The unquantifiable and unverifiable claims, bible passages taken out of context, and just plain low blows made by those indicate that they don't really care about a balanced moral conversation.

I would urge every single one of you to seek the Truth, come to the table for an honest balanced conversation, and from there leads Truth and all Truth leads to God.

May God bless all of you, even those that I do not agree with what has been posted here.

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: M J

I am STILL waiting for examples of this alleged attack on Ms Thomas's group....

and waiting........

and waiting...............

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: shall not KILL?

A better translation of the Sixth Commandment is "you must not commit murder," which is killing for personal reasons. Killing is good when God commands it, as He did when the Israelites entered the Promised Land and were commanded to slaughter every man, woman, child, and animal of tribes already residing there.

God also commanded that murder--along with blasphemy, adultery, and cursing your parents--be punished by death.

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: M J

Re: miss informed

What does in the world does religion have to do with me not wanting to subsidize rubbers and birth control pills???

What?? Other folks have a romp in the hay and I get to pay for it???

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Religious Freedom Under Attack

@Brandon Luna, Miss Informed and all other Atheists or Relativists:

Research the writings of our Founding Fathers and architects of our Constitution, Declaration of Independece, and Bill of Rights. You will find an abundance of Christian theology, belief, and profession of faith in God. Further read many of the states' Constitutions that were written prior to the US Constitution (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Tennessee, etc.) for they also contain language affirming the same belief and foundation in God and even going so far as to make it a requirement for all persons elected to office to swear an oath professing their belief in the Christian religion and "have firm persuasion of its truth" (Massachusetts Constitution).

Read the writings of the early US Supreme Court which upheld our Founding Father's firm faith in Christianity and more importantly how the fundamental principles of Christianity informed the founding principles of our great nation. The phrase "separation of church and state" is found nowhere in the Constitution, Declaration of Indepedence, Bill of Rights or any other governing document of this country. It was introduced in 1962 by the US Supreme Court to remove audible prayer from schools. There was no precedent for the phrase "separation of church and state" in our Constitution.

If you need more "concrete" proof - the Ten Commandments hang over the head of the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court in the House and Senate chambers appear the words "In God We Trust " in the Capitol rotunda is the figure of the crucified Christ carvings on the Capitol dome testify to "The New Testament according to The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ " the Great Seal of the United States proclaims "Annuit Coeptis" translated by the US State Department as "He [God] has favored our undertakings." Further under the seal is inscribed the phrase from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address "This Nation Under God."

Even our legal system and the laws of our country are derived from the moral teachings and principles found in the Christian doctrine through her bible and the basic Ten Commandments.

The Constitution explicitly protects freedom of religion not freedom from religion. I am not imposing my Catholic faith on you - I am simply demanding protection from having your murderous practices of abortion, euthanasia, and life-interfering contraception imposed upon me through my having to subsidize these practices that go against everything I believe in and stand for, through my tax dollars. I also do not believe in capital punishment either but that is another discussion.

As for the government subsidizing religion I find those figures of "71 billion and another 71 billion..." impossible to verify Miss Informed. What is verifiable is my parish exists off of our weekly offering plate. We meet expenses on our own. Our priests take a vow of poverty and live for their parishioners and the community they serve. Catholic Charities helps over 10 million people of all or no faiths every year and have been doing so for over 100 years. Their mission is to reduce poverty, support families and empower communities. They are quoted as saying "...we must be of service to our neighbor in need, but in a way that respects the inherent dignity of every human being..."

In my humble opinion my Savior Jesus Christ is love. To truly love it must be given freely and to judge or determine that some people should not procreate because you deem them not worthy of your standards of acceptable behavior or life choices is the antithesis of love. It is not for us to judge matters of life and death in any arena. Those of you without sin, cast the first stone...

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Brandon Luna

Since when do I have to care about your religious beliefs? My constitutional right of freedom from religion ( same thing as freedom of religion) states that the United States of America is and shall forever be a secular nation, meaning you don't have the right to tell anyone what is right or wrong because your big acient sky daddy says so. So sorry to burst your bubble but your preacher lied when he said the USA is a Christian nation, really makes me laugh. In fact the whole in god we trust crap was a ploy by the government in the early 1930s, which is why ( and you cam look this up) any piece of currency older than 1934 does not say in god we trust.
So point being, take your beliefs and shove em where the sun don't shine.

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: miss informed

For those who are concerned about paying taxes which subsidize contraception, please look at the high cost of religion, which is subsidized to the tune of at least 71 billion dollars per year, which is what we can account for, with about another 71 billion dollars estimated for other subsidies.

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