Friday, March 16, 2007

Good News in Medical Legislation

There are a couple of very good items in the news today regarding legislation related to medical issues. I am very much opposed to politicians restricting people's access to needed medical treatments, but that is all too common.

Today, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is hoping to get a bill legalizing medical marijuana through the state legislature, after two very close votes failed to pass on a bill last week. Richardson, who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, is risking political backlash, but believes in the issue to the extent he is willing to take the fallout. If the legislature can get this done, "The Land of Enchantment" would join states like Colorado and California in legalizing the drug for medicinal use. Given my last post about Angel Raich in San Francisco, the federal government can still negate the effect of the law, but it will make a statement. Progress will eventually be made on this front.

Speaking of progress, high praise goes out to Colorado's new Democratic governor, Bill Ritter, who signed into law a measure to require that rape victims be informed of Plan B contraception. This legislation was passed several times, and vetoed by former governor, Republican Bill Owens. Owens and Ritter are both Roman Catholics, but Owens cited beliefs based on his religion in his vetos. Ritter noted the bill has exemptions based on religion so that no person can be forced to go against his or her religious beliefs in this, but even Catholic healthcare institutions mus have someone who can relay the information to rape victims.

Plan B, unlike RU-386, does not induce abortion; but instead prevents either fertilization or implantation of reproductive cells. This is just another reason that religion has no place in government. People are free, and should be, to hold religious views. When they try to use our government to impose them on all of us, that crosses the line. I don't care whose god says so, eggs, sperm and zygotes do NOT have rights above that of a rape victim. If it was God's will that a child results from a rape, wouldn't that make God an accomplice to the crime? People really don't think their religious beliefs through to their logical conclusions. Forcing a girl or woman who has been raped to bear her attacker's child is victimizing her all over again. I am glad that Governor Ritter is progressive. Now, if only we can elect a progressive President maybe we can get somewhere.

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