To the Editor
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To the editor:
The 2019 session of the Iowa Legislature has closed and once again, they have not failed to disappoint. At the last minute on Friday, amendments were sneaked in when the Senate introduced what a Des Moines Register opinion writer called “encouraging teenage pregnancy” by removing federal funding from Planned Parenthood’s program to educate young people about sex.
Hey, good job guys, we all know that if you keep kids ignorant about their sexuality they won’t have sex. Wrong! They will have sex they just won’t know how to protect themselves from venereal disease and unplanned pregnancy.
Kids have a lot of misinformation, one common one is that you can’t get pregnant the first time you have intercourse. Thirty-six years of teaching at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln watching young people struggle with the issues of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases convinced me that education not ignorance is needed.
During my tenure as a teacher, I had a number of foreign exchange students in my classes. When asked the main difference between our high school and their high school in their home country, they would invariably answer, “they never saw a pregnant girl.” It was not because they were not sexually active, it was because of education and free access to contraceptives, something that Planned Parenthood offers.
Another disappointment for me was the failure to increase the penalty for first time animal abuse to a felony despite the fact Iowa is the fifth worse state for animals and the number of puppy mills. I would ask why our legislators do not feel the need to do everything they can to prevent the suffering of these innocent creatures? Much of the cruelty and neglect of our companion animals could be ended by enacting a program of free spaying and neutering and by outlawing puppy mills. And in the long run it would save communities and state money. Think about it!
Mary Kathryn Gepner