County commissioners overstepped their bounds

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor: Tuesday’s Mercury editorial made comments on the Riley County Commission debate on family planning funding. The emphasis on “planning” is the key to the debate, as this is not a debate about whether to kill a family member.

The editorial made reference to there being a “treatment for ignorance.” We are all ignorant until we learn more about any issue, but those who think their social position exempts them from learning is in itself an act of stupidity.

This is particularly true when discussing sex or money, the main topics of this debate.

County commissioners are not sex advisors or financial advisors or religious leaders. Dentists are not plumbers, bankers are not heart surgeons, generals are not scientists, and you don’t go to an auto mechanic for psychiatric treatment.

Why should a commissioner have the last word on your sex life? Your religion? Why not leave this in the hands of other professionals more qualified to advise us on these decisions? We call this system a “democracy,” in case you may have missed this class in your high school curriculum.

Family planning is what it says it is — choosing to have a baby or not. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that in 2011, nearly half (45 percent or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million
pregnancies in the United States were unintended. The “treatment for this ignorance”? Family planning and better sex education and less intervention on the part of unqualified “experts.”

Steve Pfister 2837 Kelly Drive

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