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Reader Opinion: Dictating health care

According to the recent Dispatch article, the Crow Wing County Board would have us believe that Crow WIng Public Health has no responsibility in distributing condoms. Condoms provided free from the state, with no impact on county budget. In fact,...

According to the recent Dispatch article, the Crow Wing County Board would have us believe that Crow WIng Public Health has no responsibility in distributing condoms. Condoms provided free from the state, with no impact on county budget. In fact, according to one commissioner, young mothers in particular should abstain rather than use a condom.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, this in a county where the pregnancy rate for 18-19 year olds is twice the state average and ranks in the top ten of 87 counties. Rates of chlamydia (which is prevented through condom use) have risen over 150 percent since 2008.

While I don't expect county commissioners to be public health experts, I do expect that they allow public health professionals to do their jobs. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health responsibilities include activities that enhance the overall health of communities and include programs to prevent unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

The ideology of one or two people should not dictate the health care of hundreds in our community. The high unintended pregnancy rates in Crow Wing County are a consequence of the lack of education and services available to the most vulnerable in our community.

I urge you to call your county commissioner and hold them accountable to the citizens of our community. Condoms would be a start.

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Sandra Reuther

Breezy Point

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