Congress should stand up for ‘Dreamers’

BY: - April 30, 2021

Imagine being deported from the only country you know.  You are forced to leave your family, friends, and community to live somewhere where you do not know anyone.  You have few if any memories of living there, and you may not even know the language. Having worked with refugee populations, I have witnessed this fear […]

The legislature that needs to ‘sine die’

BY: - April 29, 2021

One of my all-time favorite interviews was visiting with an older woman who reminded me, “Every generation thinks they invented sex.” And just like that, every generation probably thinks their politicians are the worst. I can’t publish what I honestly thought Ronald Reagan’s first name was because of my grandfather’s regular rants about “The Gipper.” […]

How the pain of losing a newborn became a political football

BY: - April 28, 2021

Let’s start with some disclosures. I am the chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Montana. I am a mother. I advocate for access to reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion. My values, both personal and political, are rooted in ensuring that Montanans have access to high-quality, affordable, science-based health care provided with care […]

Helena’s all-hat-no-cattle legislation

BY: - April 28, 2021

We’re told by the experts that 2.6 million beef cattle live in Montana.  That’s two-and-a-half head per person.  Most Montanans won’t get much closer to cattle than a hamburger or a T-bone steak.  For others, though, cattle are a way of life. Mythically, this cattle-world’s denizens are cowboys.  Prosaically, they’re ranch hands.  Cowboys are the […]

A just verdict is not justice, it’s accountability — and we need more

BY: - April 27, 2021

It took about 10 hours for a jury to convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, but we should not conflate the win with justice — this was accountability, and we need more of it. A stark reminder of the work yet to be done came when moments after the jury […]

Poll shows Montanans trust local health officials and their decisions

BY: , and - April 24, 2021

Montana’s response to the COVID pandemic has put our state’s public health system in the spotlight, as well as into the crosshairs. Through numerous bills this session, members of the Montana Legislature have sought to attack our state’s public health system and insert politics and bureaucracy into the process of making decisions that keep our […]

Colstrip’s future may be forever tied to its past

BY: - April 22, 2021

For the past decade or more, lawmakers, politicians and residents have asked the question: What is Colstrip’s future? That’s an understandable question. Coal continues to fall out of favor and demand for electricity rises while renewables increase and natural gas remains abundant and historically cheap. For a moment, I’d like to consider Colstrip’s past. As […]

A boatload of dirty water bills heading for Gianforte

BY: , and - April 21, 2021

While much ado has rightfully been made of the repeated attempts to undermine and privatize Montana’s wildlife hunting access and privileges, less attention has been paid to numerous dirty water bills working their way to Gov. Gianforte’s desk, each of which threatens fisheries, clean water, countless jobs and businesses, and our way of life. Recent […]

Montana is failing its children through its laws

BY: and - April 20, 2021

The work of the 67th session of the Montana Legislature can be examined with any number of lenses. However, when one looks through one particularly important lens – that of its effects on child health – it appears to be inflicting wounds that will be difficult to heal. Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no […]

Lawmakers: Remember who you work for

BY: - April 20, 2021

The 67th Montana Legislature is turning its back on Montana voters and the public lands we rely on. From Billings to Butte, Great Divide to Glendive, Helena to Havre, Montanans of all stripes find pleasure, beauty and much of their protein outside. In Montana, we know that our public lands can’t just serve as an […]

I’m a pediatrician who cares for transgender kids: Here’s what you need to know

BY: - April 19, 2021

When Charlie, a 10-year-old boy, came in for his first visit, he didn’t look at me or my colleague. Angry and crying, he insisted to us that he was cisgender – that he was a boy and had been born male. A few months before Charlie came into our office, he handed a note to […]

I was a teenage rifle owner, then an ER doc. Assault weapons shouldn’t count as ‘guns’

BY: - April 18, 2021

Many who know me might be shocked by this: I shot my first pistol when I was 8 or 9, taught by my father, a physician, aiming at targets in our basement. At summer camp, I loved riflery the way some kids loved art. Staring through the sight, down the barrel, I proved an excellent […]