Remembering the Fallen
“Today we pay tribute to the heroic patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice. Those who bravely rose up and fought for something greater than themselves. Protecting a home to which they never returned.”
It was a somber day of honoring the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free. The 149th annual such remembrance. Paul Gargis, outgoing Commander of the VFW, spoke to a crowd of veterans and non veterans, at the Elks Lodge, about their sacrifices and the number of men and women who have given their lives. Young and old alike were in attendance. Graduating senior, Claire Waggoner said the numbers were staggering.
“The Men who lost their lives really stood out. We could all take a step back and look at that and it really puts things in perspective.”
Gargis spoke again at the Veterans Memorial on Bay street as members of the U.S. Coast Guard placed a wreath on the river commemorating the lives lost in protection of our nation.
Reproductive Rights Bill Moves Ahead
Oregonians are hoping for some action in Salem on a bill aimed at expanding and protecting access to reproductive-health services. House Bill 3391, known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act, would require health plans to cover health care services, drugs, devices and procedures related to reproductive health. The bill would serve as fortification for reproductive rights in Oregon. Charley Downing, a member of reproductive rights group We Are BRAVE, says it was developed around the needs of marginalized communities in the state.
“Who are most impacted by the gaps that exist? How do we elevate those voices? What are those voices and communities saying that they need access to? Then how do we go about keeping those folks centered?”
The bill received a Senate hearing last week. It currently is in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Opponents say the religious exemption to providing these services is too narrow. Marilou Carrera is with the Oregon Health Equity Alliance. Carrera used to work as a nurse and says she saw a need for more access to care. Often, she says, affordability or someone’s circumstance in life was the determining factor in their decisions regarding reproductive health.
“From a legal perspective, we have these rights to access care. And then, circumstantially, like, what are the things that also determine or affect our well-being besides just the health system itself?”
With the health care system facing transition it could be quite some time for Oregonians before a resolution can be reached.
E-Cigs Lack Regulation
Little is known about the effects e-cigarette smoking has on your health, but scientists in general believe that trading one addiction for another is not the answer to better health. There are new concerns, however, about the e-cig products available. A newly released report from the Government Accounting Office says that over 91 percent of e-cigarette imports are originating in China. Senator Ron Wyden says that is extremely troubling.
“The American people have a right to know the source of the products they consume. And that’s especially when the come from over seas, and particularly China which offers little data on the safety of e-cigarette products.”
Wyden the lack of standards for such products means the health effects are at best, unknown. The FDA has begun to regulate domestic e-cigarette products with traditional cigarette and tobacco products, but importers can still sell and distribute their product without any restriction of age or any other criteria.