The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 12, 2013

The American Dream

Both Romney and Obama emphasize hard work and playing by the rules as the way to the American Dream. At Liberty University on May 12, 2012, Romney offered three ways to attain the dream: first, to finish high school (at least), second, to work full time, and third, to wait to have children until after marriage.

The government needs to get into the act, with more infrastructure spending and low taxes for business and the middle class to reduce unemployment in the short term, also, it would be a grand bargain on the federal deficit for the long term. We need serious reforms in the education system, including expanded preschool, higher standards, greater accountability, better teachers, and more life-long learning through community colleges and online learning.

Also, it is imperative we have greater media attention and more government and philanthropic support to reduce the explosion of unwanted pregnancies and births to single women in their 20s. More than half of the women under 30 who give birth are not married.

Some say abstinence is the answer. It may be for some, however, we can't ever get people to quit smoking, drug use is on the increase and single parenting is almost the norm.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and potential 2015 presidential candidate, has the solution for the GOP's birth control problem: make contraceptives available over the counter. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently announced its support for selling contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States. Jindal writes in the Wall Street Journal's opinion section, "I agree with this opinion which, if embraced by the federal government, would take contraception out of the political arena." He also said that prescription birth control drives up the cost with unnecessary doctors' visits.

Let's stop the war on women. Condoms are available over the counter, why not female contraceptives as well? Easy access to contraceptives is the absolute quickest way to reduce abortions. Most people are opposed to abortion, however, when single women or young couples finding themselves facing an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy, abortion may seem to be the only way out.

The government's welfare program is willing to pay for nine months of prenatal care and 18 years for mother and baby, but not for the much less expensive abortion. No matter how much we abhor abortion, it must remain legal and readily accessible to avoid the butcher shops that flourish when too many restrictions and roadblocks are involved.

Carlyle W. Westlund,


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