Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

March 26, 2009

Restroom Access Act

I have Crohn’s disease. If you’ve never heard of it (and chances are, you haven’t; it’s not a glamorous disease like AIDS), it’s an inflammatory bowel disease which has as one of its symptoms diarrhea.

It’s not a fun disease to have. In my case, I’ve had to have two surgeries which removed upwards of two feet of small intestine.

With Crohn’s disease, when you have to go, YOU HAVE TO GO. You don’t get much time to figure out where the nearest restroom is.

I think I have some “authority” to say what I’m going to say here.

There’s a new law in Illinois called “Ally’s Law.” It came about because Ally Bain was in an Old Navy store with her mom when she had to go. The management of the store refused to let her use the employee restroom. The resulting law forces businesses with employee only restrooms to allow customers to use the restroom if certain conditions are met.

The part of me that suffers from Crohn’s disease says “yeah, about time”. The part of me that believes in freedom says “bad law.”

I think the freedom loving part of me wins in this situation. Here’s why: the management of that Old Navy store made a bad decision; there’s no doubt about that. They could easily have allowed Ally, who was obviously in distress, the use of the restroom. Instead, they didn’t, and now we have another law that tries to force common sense onto businesses.

Yeah, I feel for the girl in this situation; I’ve been there (I had to stop at a stranger’s house one time to use the bathroom). What they should have done was let Old Navy know how bad this decision was, not try to get a law passed to fix it. A publicity campaign would have been better than getting another law passed. Imagine how embarrassed the manager of that Old Navy would have been if his name had been in a news story that related the situation.

What needs to happen is that the public needs to be made more aware of this disease. The last thing we need is to go running to the government for a fix. I find it ironic that in the video on the page I linked to above the mother says that her daughter will overcome the disease no matter where she goes. No, now whenever her daughter feels like she’s owed something because she has this awful disease, her daughter will use government as a first resort.

I’m sorry, but part of having Crohn’s disease is having “restroom awareness”. Her mother failed her when she didn’t know where the nearest public restroom was. Sure, Old Navy could have stepped up and helped, but they weren’t obligated to (at that time).

Now a version of that law is making its way across other states, mine included. Despite the fact that it could possibly help me a some point in the future, I’m against it. Government shouldn’t be used this way.

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