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Letters to the editor: Non-discrimination law should be flexible; Alzheimer’s bill is good path; Abortion coverage is about bottom line


Lucy McConnell: Non-discrimination: Don’t force others to create what they don’t approve of

Regarding the Colorado non-discrimination law: Serving a customer at an ice cream shop, a hardware store or at a dentist’s office is fundamentally different from creating a portrait or designing a website or a piece of jewelry. The latter requires imagination and creativity, along with understanding the individual for which it is created.

As a society, we cannot dictate the direction of a person’s creativity or force a person to create something he does not approve of.

I hope the law is flexible enough to see the difference.

Lucy McConnell, Longmont

Ralph Patrick: Alzheimer’s: Legislation would create path to better care

Alzheimer’s disease is impacting more Colorado families than ever before. However, it disproportionately affects older Black and Hispanic Americans versus older Whites. Despite this, decades of Alzheimer’s research has not included sufficient numbers of Blacks or Hispanics to be representative of the U.S. population. This underrepresentation not only hinders research, but also restricts knowledge of how an approved therapy or diagnostic may affect the populations most likely to need it.

Fortunately, a solution to this problem is pending in Congress — the Equity in Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials (ENACT) Act. This bipartisan legislation would increase the participation of underrepresented populations in Alzheimer’s and other dementia clinical trials by expanding education and outreach to these populations, encouraging the diversity of clinical trial staff, and reducing participation burden, among other initiatives. The ENACT Act would create a path to better Alzheimer’s care for all of us and address shortcomings in the way research and care is currently being delivered to underrepresented communities.

I join the Alzheimer’s Association in thanking U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and Congressmen Joe Neguse and Jason Crow for cosponsoring this important legislation already. I hope that Congressman Perlmutter will join them soon.

If your family is struggling with a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, we can help! Contact our 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

Ralph Patrick, regional director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, Boulder

Susan Gills: Abortion: Coverage may only be about the bottom line

Walmart recently announced it is expanding abortion coverage for its U.S. employees and family members covered by Walmart’s health care plan. Part-time employees are not eligible. Other companies have announced similar plans. How altruistic of these companies.

Let’s look at the numbers before calling this decision altruistic. What is the cost of an abortion? Of course, it depends on the timing. If the baby is less than 10 weeks from conception, according to one source, the cost for the abortion pill can be roughly $535; surgical abortion at 5-12 weeks could be as high as $955; 9-20 weeks up to $3,000; 16-24 weeks $8,000. Later term abortions are much higher; one site lists it as costing up to $35,000.

Compare this cost to maternity and possible paternity leave if the mom and dad choose life. Let’s assume a full-time Walmart employee in Colorado is earning $20.15 per hour. If this new mother takes maternity leave for 16 weeks (one week PTO, nine weeks short-term disability, six weeks parental pay and leave of absence), that is roughly $12,900 of wages for her. If she takes time off before the baby is born or requires more time off, the cost to Walmart could be 1.5 to 20 times the cost of an abortion. What if dad is also a Walmart employee — another 6 weeks off or $4,800 of paid leave. Then the baby will be added to the parent’s medical insurance which will also increase the cost to the employer. Then there is the possible cost for hiring and training someone to cover the position.

I suggest it is not about health care or families. It’s about the bottom line.

Susan Gills, Boulder