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Amy Phillips, Fargo, Published March 24 2013

Letter: Some Fargo legislators have rejected ND values

In a stunning rejection of North Dakota values, Rep. Bette Grande, R-Fargo, and Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, have decided to impose their own religious and political views on the youth of North Dakota rather than support a Personal Responsibility Education Program designed, as stated on the U.S. Family and Youth Services Bureau website, to give youth the knowledge and skills to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and to generally provide them with healthy life skills.

Federal funding for the program was received by Dr. Brandy Randall and Dr. Molly Secor-Turner at North Dakota State University, and instead of lauding the program’s support for North Dakota youth, Flakoll and Grande began an effort to prevent the program’s implementation. The primary strategy of this effort has been to insist that state laws prevent the use of Planned Parenthood as a partner in the North Dakota program.

Not only has the professional work of two NDSU faculty members been infringed on by not allowing them to move forward with implementation of their grant but, more seriously, the health and well-being of North Dakota youth have been devalued by legislative and educational leaders.

If ensuring young people’s ability to take personal responsibility for their health and their future is not a North Dakota value, I don’t know what is.