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Saturday Salute, Courtesy of Kansas and North Carolina

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Kansas and North Carolina both have a storied history in college basketball. Whether you're a Jayhawk or a Blue Devil or "bleed Carolina blue," you will like what we have to report.

Let's go first to the Sunflower State, where the Miami County Commission recently voted to reject any federal funds related to family planning. Well, about 100 citizens got together to raise $9,500. They then presented a check to the commission to ensure that people in their community who rely on family-planning services for contraception and other basic health care.

But, the residents behind this grassroots effort made it clear that this is a one-time deal, and that they expect their elected officials to change course on family-planning policy:

To be absolutely clear, this is an emergency gesture to provide for next fiscal year's contraception needs only. It is not a way to remove your responsibility as commissioners to reverse your position on contraception for the health department in the future," [Denise] German [who spoke for the group that presented the money] said. "Dismay at your decision is growing. At a time when so many people are struggling to make ends meet in a dismal job market, rejecting this grant was inexcusable. Miami County women deserve the same public health care options and support found in the rest of the counties of Kansas.

BTW, look at this picture from the check delivery:

0414-kansas-check.jpg

The other good news comes from NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. The organization is giving its Susan Hill Award to McCoy Faulkner, who for 27 years has provided security to abortion rights organizations, clinics, and high-profile advocates. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina chose Faulkner for the award from nominations sent in by organizations across the state.

Carey Pope, the affiliate's executive director, told the Raleigh News-Observer, "It was an untraditional choice. Last year, we gave the award to an abortion provider, which is great, but now we're honoring someone who is literally on the front lines protecting women. This award is to honor someone who puts his life on the line every day for this movement."

So, we say thanks to these unsung heroes from Kansas and North Carolina.

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