Quantcast
Connect with us

Indiana commissioner cites Bible verse while voting to end lifesaving needle exchange program

Published

on

A commissioner in Lawrence County, Indiana this week voted to discontinue the county’s needle exchange, citing the Bible in his decision to end a program that drastically reduces the probability drug users will contract blood-borne viruses like HIV.

As NBC News reports, Rodney Fish, one of the council members, called his vote against needle exchanges “a moral issue.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was a moral issue with me. I had severe reservations that were going to keep me from approving that motion,” Fish said.

“I did not approach this decision lightly,” he added. “I gave it a great deal of thought and prayer. My conclusion was that I could not support this program and be true to my principles and my beliefs.”

As vox.com noted, before casting his vote, Fish quoted from the Bible, saying, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

But needle exchanges save lives.

ADVERTISEMENT

Christopher Abert of the Indiana Recovery Alliance told NBC News “people are going to die” as a result of the commissioners’ votes.

“The opposition to them is a moral opposition,” Abert said, noting this this the second syringe exchange to close in Indiana since the election of state Attorney General Curtis Hill, who opposes exchanges.

The opioid epidemic ravaging the United States has fueled an increase in injection drug use, which in turn has contributed to “a 150 percent increase in acute cases of hepatitis C infections,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

ADVERTISEMENT

In Lawrence Country alone, Abert says cases of hepatitis C have already decreased 50 percent.

“In the last year, the Indiana Recovery Alliance has served hundreds of Lawrence County residents, who reported over 50 overdose reversals,” the Alliance told NBC News. “Dozens of people have remained hepatitis and HIV free through their involvement and testing with the program. Stopping just one case of HIV saves $450,000 in lifetime costs.”

But Fish says his anecdotal evidence does not mirror those statistics.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Few, if any of the health care professionals that I personally spoke with believe that the needle exchange program was an effective way of getting people into treatment programs,” he said.

“I researched to the best of my ability and queried individuals all over our community to get a response from the people who deal in these issues,” Fish continued. I spoke with physicians. I spoke with nurses, EMTs, first responders and other county officials whose opinions I respect.”

“My constituency overwhelming responded in saying no, we do not want to support this program,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘The ground is shifting’: Longtime GOP aide sounds the alarm that Trump is putting Arizona in play

Published

on

Chuck Coughlin, who once served as a top aide to two different Republican governors in Arizona, is warning that President Donald Trump is putting his state in play for the 2020 presidential election.

In an interview with Politico, Coughlin said his party has expressed real anxiety about the state turning blue next year.

"Republicans are very concerned,” he said. "The ground is shifting."

At the moment, just 45 percent of Arizona voters have a favorable view of Trump, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. Additionally, the victory of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in last year's midterm elections showed that Democrats can be competitive in statewide races in a place that became famous for electing iconic conservative senators such as John McCain and Barry Goldwater.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

PolitiFact corrects conservatives: The NYT Kavanaugh story has not been debunked

Published

on

The new report from The New York Times on the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh contained some stunning new revelations — including that several people tried to contact the FBI to corroborate Deborah Ramirez's assault allegation but were ignored, and that prominent attorney Max Stier alleges he saw Kavanaugh take part in a third assault.

But conservative news sites are now running with the idea that the Times article has been discredited and that the paper has retracted its claims. PJ Media, a prominent right-wing site, ran the headline "New York Times Now Admits New Kavanaugh Accusation Is Fake News."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

Published

on

Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image