Owens' poor record speaks for itself

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To the Editor:

On Sep. 2, National Review Magazine declared Bill Owens the best governor in America. One has to wonder why they missed this paradox:

In Dec. 2001, Owens terminated the state family planning contract with Planned Parenthood because "abortion" might be mentioned as an alternative for women in difficult situations.

In June, $37 million in Medicaid cuts were announced. This included cuts in services to the most vulnerable people in Colorado, especially those with physical and mental disabilities who need home health services to survive. The proposed cuts included 5 percent in all services for long-term clientele and a whopping 30 percent CNA cut for clients in acute situations.

Thanks to the storm of protest generated by ADAPT, most of the cuts were put on hold (but not all; e.g. no new HCBS Home Care Allowances are being granted), but they'll be back.

These cuts are the immediate symptom of a long-term problem. For instance, waiting lists for services for the developmentally disabled have gotten so bad, that one county (Boulder) is actually trying to finance DD services via a local referendum.

What's wrong with this picture? Owens has no business telling any woman who knows, or even suspects, that she is carrying a baby with problems, that she can't have an abortion when Colorado won't supply supporting health services. It is particularly inhumane to imply that a single woman who is abusing drugs and is pregnant, should risk having a baby with fetal alcohol or crack syndrome, given Colorado's lack of commitment to helping her raise her child in a home setting.

If Owens really wants us to believe he is pro-life (not merely anti-abortion), he must demonstrate an understanding of the link between abortion and lack of social services, by cutting highways before services for the disabled or chronically ill.

Edward R. Arnold,

Boulder

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