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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Federal subsidies for contraceptives ‘socially necessary’

    In yesterday’s staff editorial about “”subsidized contraceptives”” (“”Sex, drugs and money””), it wasn’t that the colleges, or college sex for that matter, were being subsidized by federal money. It was complicated Medicare formulas that encouraged pharmaceutical companies to discount items to college campuses.

    For women on college campuses, this can mean as much as an extra $250 dollars per year. It may not be significant to some college students, but that’s what I paid for books last semester. To expect a person to dish out an extra $20 per month for their prescriptions is short-sighted and wrong-headed.

    Contraceptives, some say, are single-handedly responsible for many elements of modern society, including having educated women finishing college degrees and continuing on to post-graduate work. They allow women, especially at our age, to delay pregnancy until life’s conditions are appropriate for child birth and rearing.

    We need to encourage more women to use birth control, not less. And that’s what tripling the price of birth control does to women in our age group.

    Keeping birth control affordable for college students is proven to lead to lower unplanned pregnancy rates, which leads to lower abortion rates. It also ensures more women can complete their education and begin careers without attempting to care for children at the same time. By saying that lower contraceptive prices was a form of subsidized college sex is wrong – college students are going to have sex. But keeping prices low for a socially necessary good should be encouraged, not discouraged. For this editorial, the Arizona Daily Wildcat gets a “”fail.””

    Sam Feldman political science junior former Wildcat opinions columnist

    Good reasons justify legal drinking age

    I have finally come to terms with the fact the drinking age is 21. After spending time and having sober fun with college students from the University of South Florida, I have concluded that alcohol consumption (especially on college campus, where binge drinking is prevalent) is not a healthy way to live, considering the drinking age was set in order to maintain a degree of public safety.

    I am not attempting to single out any colleges or universities for their social drinking behavior at all, but rather I’d like to point out the benefits of the drinking age as it is set. The argument that one can “”die for their nation, but not have a beer”” is not warranted because there is no draft. You are not mandated by law to serve in the military (the last time a draft occurred, please note the national drinking age was 18); rather military careers are made by choice not force. So in essence, yes, you can choose to enlist your services for our powerful military, but cannot legally consume alcohol on American soil (what occurs in other foreign borders is dictated by military and foreign law).

    The reason the drinking age was increased to begin with was in order to maintain federal highway funding and due to statistics released by organizations such as MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) and other independent research firms that confirmed with the drinking age at 18. The risks associated with drunk driving were extremely high, so in correlation with the Federal Highway Act, the government decided if a state wanted to avoid an annual ten percent decrease of funds for the upkeep of its highways and the establishment of new ones, it would have to increase its drinking age to 21 in 1984.

    With the increase of driving culture in the United States, a state would be putting itself at a great disadvantage by not implementing the law. The arguments continue to be made that a national drinking age of 21 increases binge drinking among teenagers, but if it were lowered back to 18, would that increase the occurrence of binge drinking among pre-teens? (The situation of binge drinking occurs across the age board regardless of the national drinking age – always has and always will).

    Based on my experience with minors-in-posession and a variety of other alcohol-related citations, it seems time-consuming to be running around awkwardly attempting to avoid the legal repercussions of purchasing or consuming alcohol. The concept of consuming alcohol responsibly is hard to rationalize as well, considering your brain doesn’t stop growing until your mid 20s anyway, and those who consume alcohol before they’re 18 have a 40 percent increased chance of alcohol dependence (though this doesn’t happen all the time, this is an interesting fact to mull over).

    My thoughts cannot change an entire culture or generation, but indeed, it’s just a thought.

    Ashley C. Emerole sophomore majoring in political science and regional development

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