Welfare and Medicaid Cuts Raise Infant Mortality Rate

Conservatives kill babies.

Not with their own hands, of course. They don’t strangle them in their cribs. They let their anti-life policies do it for them.

For decades but especially for the last 12 years, the very same conservatives who scream that the removal of an unformed scut of cells in a womb is murder have been systematically depriving real life pregnant women who will be carrying to term of luxuries like food and adequate medical care because they’re “too expensive”.

At the Federal level, Medicaid and welfare have been consistently cut every year conservatives have ruled the roost in order to trim taxes to the nub for the rich, hand over $$$billions$$$ in corporate welfare to their masters campaign contributors, and prosecute a war nobody wanted on behalf of neoconservative imperialists too dumb to know enough to come in out of the rain. In primarily liberal Democratic states, some of that safety net has been replaced but in the predominantly-conservative Southern states, it hasn’t and the results are coming in. They’re not pretty, but then nothing much in conservative-run America is these days.

The policies of so-called “pro-life” conservatives are raising infant mortality rates in the South to the such a point that Third World countries have lower rates than parts of the US. Are we proud yet?

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Sheila Holt-Orsted’s Crusade: Cancer, Racism and the Class War

There are times and places when the lines of culture, politics, science, and social conventions come crashing together, when the attitudes we’ve been ignoring and the problems we’ve refused to address converge to create a snapshot reality of where we are and where we’ve been. Call it Ground Zero-Prime.

In Dickson County, Tennessee, Sheila Holt-Orsted is living right smack dab in the middle of Ground Zero-Prime. In her family, and what happened to them, four of the major cultural strains of the past half-century collide: racism, the Class War, denial of environmental neglect, and pandering to corporate greed at the expense of public health and safety.

Sheila had breast cancer. Her father died of prostate and bone cancers. Her sister has had a form of colon cancer. And there’s more.

Three of Holt-Orsted’s cousins have had cancer. Her aunt next door has had cancer. Her aunt across the street has had chemotherapy for a bone disease. Her uncle died of Hodgkin’s disease. Her daughter, 12-year-old Jasmine, has a speech defect.

Why all this in one family? You’re recognizing the pattern, aren’t you? And you’re already suspecting that they lived near a toxic waste site. Well, you’re right – and wrong. It was toxic, alright, but it wasn’t supposed to be. The source of the cancers was a landfill – the County dump.

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Why are women more often living in poverty?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an Op-Ed feature called ‘Woman-to-Woman’ in which conservative Shaunti Feldhahn debates various issues with liberal Diane Glass. Both are reasonably good writers and both manage to encapsulate the general differences between the political polarities. The current edition of their on-going argument concerns poverty among women. To read the whole thing, click the title.

Commentary

SHAUNTI FELDHAHN
for ajc.com

A complex socio-economic issue like this often requires multiple answers, but here the answers are far more social than economic. And most reasons can be boiled down to one: The breakdown of the family.

I know that answer might make some folks (like perhaps Diane) want to tear their hair out, but many of the main poverty factors also are the main reasons why more women than men are poor. The simple truth is that skyrocketing rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births combine to hit women harder than men. Childless women are not as affected by these factors — but statistically most women will have children, and far more women than men end up as the primary caretaker….(cont)


Rebuttal

DIANE GLASS
AJC columnist

It’s true that women are forced to carry the burdens of raising a family and, with a high American divorce rate, the majority of women in America who earn less than men have the extra burden of raising a family.

Yet, if Shaunti’s right — if female poverty is the result of disintegrating family bonds — why is it that women earn 50 cents on the male dollar worldwide?

Women are burdened with family obligations and the added costs of raising children from divorced households. Her solution, however, asks us to close the barn door after the animals have already escaped. Divorce may have its problems, but it also has its solutions. It offers women the freedom to leave unfulfilling or abusive relationships, giving women greater autonomy and choices. So now we should give that up? Let’s move forward, not backwards. (cont)