So, the state Republicans have been pretty clear about what their agenda for the coming legislative session is–defund Planned Parenthood, send the money to other non-abortion providing centers, amend the Constitution to take away a women’s right to an abortion, and pass more measures establishing personhood for fetuses, if not explicitly, then at least implicitly.
Then they’ll wave their Pro-Life credentials around at the next election and talk about how they love the babies and worked to save them.
In 2005 the infant mortality rate in and around the Napier Homes, not five blocks from where Zora Neale Hurston lived while her brother attended medical school here, was 20%.
One in five babies in that neighborhood did not live to see their first birthdays. You have a better chance of celebrating your child’s first birthday in Afghanistan than you do on the south side of Nashville. In Memphis, an infant dies every 43 hours (yes, those are tiny coffins). Every other day a family loses their baby.
I will have more numbers later today or tomorrow, but my point is, now is the time for the Republicans to put their butts on the line for “Life.” Banning abortion doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a feel-good measure that makes it look like you’ve accomplished something, but it doesn’t require you to sacrifice or make any tough decisions.
I challenge you, Republicans: If you’re really pro-life and about protecting the babies, bring down the infant mortality rates in this state.
Save those babies, too.
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To the average Republican I know, this only means that we’re not dropping enough bombs on the babies of Afghanistan.
Ouch. But the sentiment is pretty accurate, C.S.
Lets at least be honest with ourselves about life and everything that it means. If Americans were routinely subjected to pictures of what 1000 pound bombs do to people of all ages, we may not be so willing to engage in needless wars.
But beyond that, being pro life needs to include quality of life assessments.
TN is what, 45th in the country on infant mortality? Or is that on child mortality generally? That ain’t pro-life, folks, that’s just pro-birth.
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NM, the 2006 numbers put us as the third worst for infant mortality in the country.
Oh, and I forgot to add–36% worse than the national average.
The reason this won’t happen is the same reason I don’t think it would make enough of a difference. The people (including babies) upon whom our prodigious death cargo is dropped have been Otherized long before the bombs are dropped. It bears mentioning that the anecdotal evidence for my allegation is the oft-mentioned casual phrase (with its many variants) “kill ’em all” (the “’em” referring to the darker-hued residents living in the countries we attack and invade).
If people don’t understand what our military exploits are doing to babies in other places, it is because they don’t want to know. In most cases, I doubt that throwing photographic (or other graphic) evidence in their faces will do anything but inspire another layer of denial. In the meantime, the corporate media who have the means to show us what war really does won’t do it. It ain’t part of the business model.
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We’d have a better record on infant mortality if folks would acknowledge the special health needs of the drug addicted and malnourished in and around the Memphis delta. (Is Memphis a delta? I think I recall that it is.)
The babies are dying in large part because the mothers are crack whores who don’t eat right. They get AIDS from dirty needles, etc.
But fixing the infant mortality rate means addressing all sorts of boring unsexy problems like the war on drugs, the war on poverty and all the other stateside ‘wars’ we’ve waged and lost in the last 40 years. It also means maybe Christians giving money to the actual poor instead of to their churches’ teevee-buying fund.