Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why Won't Governor Rounds Respond?

By Shannon
South Dakota Community Organizer

It’s been just a little over a week since Planned Parenthood joined with eight other diverse organizations to send a very important message to Governor Mike Rounds. The groups want to see the Governor use his leadership to do something about the serious public health issue of unintended pregnancy in the state.

The request was made in the form of a letter to the Governor and was hand-delivered to his office on the afternoon of the 21st.

That day, several media outlets ran stories about a press conference that would be held both in Rapid City and in Sioux Falls the day after delivery.

And, on the 22nd, the groups joined together for a press conference to share with the public their idea.

At that time, no one had heard anything from the Governor…

I just about jumped out of my seat that evening watching KSFY television. A very nice story about the request ran during the news and at the end of the piece, the reporter told the two anchors that he had contact with the Governor’s office, but that Governor Rounds had no response at the time. He reported that the Governor’s Press Secretary informed him that Mr. Rounds receives 50 pieces of mail a day, and just because you hold a press conference doesn’t move your letter to the top of the stack. Nice.

As of today…. Still no response from the Governor.

However, on Monday of this week, one dozen semi truck drivers drove through the capital city, past the capitol building as a symbol of protest for the high cost of fuel prices and challenges drivers and owner/operators face because of it. Fair enough. I have no problem with this sort of display.

What I do have a problem with is Governor Rounds adjusting his schedule for the day so that he could speak to that group of upset truck drivers. For their sake, I’m glad he did. But, what about the nine women’s organizations who want to see unplanned pregnancy decrease in this state? Why couldn’t the governor squeeze in some time for us? Why couldn’t he pick up the phone and call some of those organizations? I don’t have an answer. Do you?

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