On Tuesday, local psychiatrist Dr. Satya Chandragiri announced on Facebook Live that he will be running for the Salem-Keizer School Board, Zone 4.
As a father of two Salem-Keizer school graduates and a highly involved member of the community for over 15 years, Chandragiri says he is ready to step in and make a difference.
“I’m running for the school board because I’m not happy with the status quo,” said Satya in a statement. “I believe every child can grow and develop to their full human potential, become a contributing, responsible citizen and member of our community and tackle the problems of tomorrow that we cannot even see. Future generations can do better than what we have done. We need bold leadership to ensure our schools can make this dream happen for our kids and generations to come.”
Dr. Satya’s professional focus as a psychiatrist is mental illness, addiction and other serious challenges that afflict both adults and children. He hopes to bring a similar focus to his campaign, which is centered around child-first policies that address mental health, safety and welfare as well as teacher burnout.
Voters in the Salem-Keizer School District will be selecting three out of seven board members this May. Dr. Satya plans to file for office on the first day possible, February 11th. Zone 4 is currently represented by Jim Green who is retiring this year, according to the Salem Reporter.
Dr. Satya’s campaign website is https://satyafororegon.com.
Representative Rick Lewis, R-Silverton, has proposed legislation that will change the number of hearing aids Oregon Health Plan (OHP) grants. Patients who were granted only one hearing aid, every five years, will now have the hope and ability to hear in both ears.
Hearing aids have been inaccessible to low-income patients outside of their Medicare plan, sometimes costing them thousands of dollars. Those with hearing issues find themselves left only able to partially improve their hearing. Under the OHP plan, members were only granted one single hearing aid. Having only one hearing aid prevents the ability to hear from multiple directions.
“When people lose hearing in one ear, they typically lose it in both,” said Lewis. “If they have one hearing aid most sound comes from one direction.”
Because of Lewis’ prompting, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) began to review their budget and policies. The agency discovered that the federal government permits states to make administrative changes to the OHP hearing aid grants. OHP also found that providing a full set of hearing aids would be reasonably because of advances in hearing aid technology.
“The fact that it doesn’t cost additional money to make this happen is really important.”, Rep. Lewis stated.
The proposed legislation will help countless children in Oregon as well as adults. Oregonians who can’t hear may finally hear in both ears for the first time all thanks to Rep. Lewis.
Republican lawmakers in Michigan’s Senate passed legislation to prohibit doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs via online video chats with patients. The measure passed by a 12-vote margin, and extended an existing ban on abortion medications which would have expired in 2019.
Under the new law, women who desire abortion-inducing drugs must visit a physical clinic to obtain the medication. Pro-abortion lawmakers protested that Michigan women may lack access to such clinics, especially in rural areas of the state.
“Telemedicine works,” stated Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor). “The bill before us forces Michigan backwards, plain and simple. The motivation here is purely ideological, not medical, and quite frankly it’s unconstitutional.”
Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, expressed a different view. The FDA limits access to abortion-inducing drugs to reduce harmful side effects, she noted: for example, FDA regulators prohibit women from obtaining mifepristone (a common abortion medication) at retail pharmacies. Thus, for pro-life advocates, Michigan’s new law simply respects the spirit of FDA policy.
Since 19 other states have enacted telemedicine abortion bans, Marnon deems Michigan’s bill a “pre-emptive” move amid widespread support for restrictions on abortion drugs. Roughly 9,000 abortions were performed via medication in Michigan last year, Marnon noted.
The Michigan House will consider the measure later this month.
Oklahoma senator Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow) is working to stop all abortions in the state by classifying abortion as a felony homicide, reports ABC affiliate WGNO.
“It’s gonna be classified as a homicide because, essentially, a fertilized egg is a human life just like a 1-year-old baby is a human life. So, an abortion would be considered intentionally taking a human life,” Silk explained.
Silk hopes his measure will override federal laws which permit abortions in Oklahoma. “The Attorney General shall direct state agencies to enforce [the abortion ban] regardless of any contrary or conflicting federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, or court decisions,” the bill reads.
Silk has no qualms about opposing the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion. “The Supreme Court also ruled . . . that slaves were private property and they were wrong. And so, the courts do need to be challenged,” Silk stated.
The ACLU’s Oklahoma chapter expressed outrage at Silk’s proposal. The measure attacks Oklahoma women’s reproductive rights, believes Allie Shinn, who serves as deputy director for the chapter. “I’m not sure where Joseph Silk got to decide that he’s the morality police, but nobody elected him to do that,” Shinn said.
Silk responded that his measure is justifiably comprehensive. It includes no exceptions for rape and incest victims, for instance, because so few cases of rape and incest occur in Oklahoma. “The numbers of rape and incest are so tiny, under half a percent. So, it’s almost not even an arguable question,” Silk explained.
Ultimately, Silk seeks to respect the personhood of all unborn children, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their birth. “It is a human life, regardless of how it came to be,” Silk said.
A Kentucky legislator introduced a bill to ban doctors from aborting babies with detectable heartbeats, according to The Hill. Physicians who violate the proposed ban could be charged with a Class D felony and face up to five years in prison.
The measure would require doctors to examine unborn children for a heartbeat before performing abortions. If a fetus presents a heartbeat, a physician could only proceed with the abortion to avert a medical emergency.
Kentucky state representative Robert Goforth (R) prefiled the bill earlier in December for Kentucky’s 2019 legislative session.
“My proposal recognizes that everyone has a right to life,” Goforth explained. “My personal belief is that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. A heartbeat proves that there’s life that deserves protection under law–if a heart is beating, a baby needs to be protected and given an opportunity to live.”
Goforth noted that his bill represents a landmark in the history of Kentucky’s pro-life movement. “This is the most pro-life piece of legislation that has ever been filed in the Kentucky Legislature,” he said. Goforth recognizes that the measure may face judicial hurdles if it becomes law, but nevertheless deems his efforts worthwhile.
“I look forward to the day our laws and our court system give unborn children the legal right to life that they deserve so they can grow and live happy and productive lives,” he stated.
January 8th marks the start of the Kentucky General Assembly’s next session, during which legislators will consider Goforth’s bill.
Ohio and Iowa have already debated similar heartbeat legislation this year. In both states, the measures have not yet arrived at the governor’s desk.
More American women are choosing life for their children than ever before, according to the latest government data on abortion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the US abortion rate fell 26% between 2006 and 2015 to reach an all-time low. Further, the national abortion ratio–which weighs abortions against live births–also declined to record lows. In 2005, 233 abortions occurred for every 1,000 live births. In 2015, officials documented only 188 abortions per 1,000 live births.
According to other research, America’s abortion rate has fallen concurrently with global abortion rates. Across Europe and North America, infanticide has become gradually less prevalent in developed nations. The trend extends back to the 1990s: during that decade, 45 out of every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 had an abortion. By the early 2010s, just 27 out of every 1,000 women obtained abortions in developed countries.
To explain the international decline in abortion rates, researchers point to several factors, including improved access to contraceptives, new pro-life legislation, and changing attitudes among millenials.
More restrictive abortion laws, for example, have reduced the incidence of infanticide: Globally, 39% of women of reproductive age cannot terminate their pregnancies, because no abortion clinics operate nearby.
Further, during the 1970s and 1980s, older pro-lifers in the United States significantly outnumbered their younger counterparts. Today, however, young people in the US express greater support for pro-life measures than older generations.
A 2017 Quinnipiac poll revealed that Americans aged 18 to 34 were more likely than older citizens to favor a 20-week abortion ban. Rasmussen’s 2013 study on the same topic reached similar conclusions.
To view graphical representations of the international decline in abortion rates, visit Vox news’ article on the subject.