An Idaho State Senator loses temper over contraceptives
February 28, 2018
Most people try to avoid conversations about sex, due to feeling uncomfortable or squirmish. It is easier to awkwardly giggle and quickly change the subject. However, for a politician, being able to discuss issues such as birth control and sex education in a professional and respectful manner is part of the job description.
Republican Idaho State Senator Dan Foreman did not get that memo.
Currently in the state of Idaho, women can only receive a three-to-four month supply of birth control per year from their insurance provider. The state is introducing a new bill that would allow women to be prescribed a year’s worth of birth control at once, as it is vital that the pills are taken at the same time every day.
A dozen students from Generation Action, a nationwide college group affiliated with Planned Parenthood, traveled nearly 300 miles from Moscow, Idaho to Boise for a scheduled meeting with Foreman. The students were visiting the capital to lobby for the bill, but the day did not go according to plan.
Foreman suddenly canceled the meeting that morning, but he ran into the students in the hallway outside his office later that day as the students were conducting meetings with other state politicians on Feb. 19, according to ABC News.
Video footage posted on Twitter shows the senator shouting at the students, saying “I think what you guys do stinks” after stating he was a conservative Roman Catholic and he believes “abortion is murder.” The students remained calm, but Foreman still threatened to call the Idaho State Police and have them arrested. At the very least, those students deserve an apology, but unfortunately Foreman has no intentions on giving them one.
The following day, Foreman told the Associated Press that he believes his “response was dead on and people can take exception to that – they’re welcome to their point of view – but I take abortion seriously. It’s murder.”
Not only did Foreman disrespect the students by yelling at them, but his statements also made little sense in the context of the situation. He yelled “abortion is murder” but the students were there to discuss birth control and better sex education on college campuses, two entirely different topics from abortion. Instead of being willing to listen, Foreman started shouting his stance on abortion, which was unprofessional and unnecessary.
Politicians are trained to deal with the public, even when faced with difficult situations or if they disagree with someone. Foreman should have handled the situation more professionally and there were many other outcomes he could have shown.
For example, he could have bit his tongue and walked silently into his office, he could have explained that he did not have time to talk or he could have answered a few of the students questions respectfully. Instead, he settled on an angry rant to a group of people who just wanted a calm discussion about the bill.
Despite Foreman’s comments, Idaho seems to be making a step in the right direction with this bill. Idaho is the 11th state to introduce a law allowing women a 12-month supply of birth control. However, there should be more than 11 states with laws like this implemented because all women in the United States deserve to have accessible birth control.
In addition to helping prevent unwanted pregnancies, many women take birth control to ease menstrual cramps, get rid of acne and balance their levels of estrogen. Birth control pills can also help women with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, in which they need the medication to regulate their hormones and reproductive organs.
To put it simply: If women have no hassle in getting prescriptions for other illnesses or medical issues, why is birth control any different? Although one of the uses of birth control is to prevent future unwanted pregnancies, it is not the same idea as abortion.
Student advocacy groups such as Generation Action deserve to have their voice be heard without a screaming match or the door being slammed in their face. It’s a shame that they were treated with a level of disrespect that is low for the average person, let alone a state Senator.