Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You already know. But this time, Ravalli County Commissioner Suzy Foss has outdone herself.
Commissioner Foss has used the local paper to unleash a dizzying mix of factual inaccuracies, scientific distortions, banal TEA party platitudes, and embarrassing misunderstanding of basic facts to justify making Ravalli County the only county in Montana to refuse public health funding for local men and women.
As the Ravalli County Republic reports, the county’s family planning clinic officially closed its doors two weeks ago, after GOP commissioners decided to reject about $50,000 in federal funds. The clinic had been in operation for more than 40 years.
Let’s take a look at some of the ludicrous things Foss is saying this time.
In an email last Thursday to the Ravalli Republic, Foss tried to say that Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital was “taking our clients and assisting them in financial options (Affordable Care Act), Medicare and others as well as providing care.”
Not so. So the local public health director had to explain to the paper that this simply wasn’t true – that the closed family planning clinics had never been referred to the hospital, which is for acute care only, not family planning. Seems Foss is also unaware that Medicare eligibility is limited to people over age 65, and the Affordable Care Act doesn’t provide hospitals with money to provide people with low cost cancer screening and birth control. That funding comes from the “Title X” funding for family planning clinics that Ravalli County turned away.
But Foss didn’t stop there. In a bizarre screed to the Ravalli Republic on October 9, Foss tried to depict those who wanted health care for low income people as immoral–she even claimed that they yelled at her to “check her morality at the door” as she walked in to vote against poor people in need. This is as compelling, and as unprovable, as the old TEA party yarns that begins with “a liberal sitting next to me on a plane and admitted Obama was a Satanist, confessed the liberals were in league with the illuminati, disclosed the location of secret internment camps for U.S. citizens.)” Right.
Foss wrote that morality is under attack by “the progressive left needing to promote their socialist beliefs upon the unsuspecting.” Progressives need to be reminded, says Foss, that “ It was from the pulpit that the concept of freedom first took flight.”
Perhaps this this morality maven doesn’t consider spreading lies misinformation to be a moral breach, because that’s what she uses the rest of her missive to do.
Foss claims young women shouldn’t be given access to contraception because “oral contraceptives are carcinogenic” and that she is concerned about “the long term effects of these carcinogens are on the developing reproductive organs of our youth.”
In reality, birth control can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by half. It can also help you fight colon, uterine and breast cancers.
In reality, for women who are pre-menopausal (young women), taking the birth control pill does not increase the risk of breast cancer. For post-menopausal women (older women in their 50s), long-term use of hormones, especially combining estrogen and progesterone can slightly increase the risk of developing breast cancer, but not the risk of dying from breast cancer. Perhaps Foss is genuinely concerned about post menipausal women (those in her own age group) not getting parental consent (if their parents are still living)–but I doubt it.
Foss also appears to be ignorant to the fact that young woman are often prescribed birth control for a variety of uses other than preventing pregnancy. Its other benefits include lighter periods, less cramping, reduced PMS symptoms, and improvement of acne.
Finally, Foss says that “no matter what those who wish to deny the truth tell you,” birth control “usually results in a chemically induced abortion.”
That’s just plain stupid. Birth control only works if you aren’t pregnant. Period. End of story.
Scientists and medical experts have long ago debunked the claim that even the strongest birth control pill, emergency contraception, causes abortions. As the New York Times reported, “the politically charged debate over morning-after pills and abortion…is probably rooted in outdated or incorrect scientific guesses about how the pills work.”
Emergency–and regular–contraception works before pregnancy begins by delaying or inhibiting ovulation or thickening cervical mucus so sperm have trouble swimming.