The GOP - the "pro-life" party - has shown their hypocrisy on the political wedge issue of abortion with the adoption of the GOP-controlled House budget. Charles M. Blow writes in The New York Times:
Republicans need to figure out where they stand on children’s welfare. They can’t be “pro-life” when the “child” is in the womb but indifferent when it’s in the world. Allow me to illustrate just how schizophrenic their position has become through the prism of premature babies.
Of the 33 countries that the International Monetary Fund describes as “advanced economies,” the United States now has the highest infant mortality rate according to data from the World Bank. It took us decades to arrive at this dubious distinction. In 1960, we were 15th. In 1980, we were 13th. And, in 2000, we were 2nd.
Part of the reason for our poor ranking is that declines in our rates stalled after premature births — a leading cause of infant mortality as well as long-term developmental disabilities — began to rise in the 1990s.
The good news is that last year the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the rate of premature births fell in 2008, representing the first two-year decline in the last 30 years.
Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, the president of the March of Dimes, which in 2003 started a multimillion-dollar premature birth campaign focusing on awareness and education, has said of the decline: “The policy changes and programs to prevent preterm birth that our volunteers and staff have worked so hard to bring about are starting to pay off.”
The bad news is that, according to the March of Dimes, the Republican budget passed in the House this month coulddo great damage to this progress. The budget proposes:
• $50 million in cuts to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that “supports state-based prenatal care programs and services for children with special needs.”
• $1 billion in cuts to programs at the National Institutes of Health that support “lifesaving biomedical research aimed at finding the causes and developing strategies for preventing preterm birth.”
• Nearly $1 billion in cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its preventive health programs, including to its preterm birth studies.
This is the same budget in which House Republicans voted to strip all federal financing for Planned Parenthood.
It is savagely immoral and profoundly inconsistent to insist that women endure unwanted — and in some cases dangerous — pregnancies for the sake of “unborn children,” then eliminate financing designed to prevent those children from being delivered prematurely, rendering them the most fragile and vulnerable of newborns. How is this humane?
It isn't humane and it isn't pro-life.
My belief is that most people outside the political class who term themselves pro-life do so because they believe in the sanctity of life. Those people must stand up now to the GOP and affirm that life doesn't end at birth.
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ, which has taken pro-choice positions on the issue of abortion, is also deeply concerned about life. Our General Synod has affirmed, for example, "the sacredness of all life, and the need to protect and defend human life in particular" and encouraged "persons facing unplanned pregnancies to consider giving birth and parenting the child, or releasing the child for adoption, before abortion."
Our denomination has also been a strong supporter of programs for children. We live out the Biblical mandate to care for the "least of these" through volunteerism, donations, faith-based social service programs, and public policy efforts.
What is needed now is for those who are "pro-life" and "pro-choice" to stand together with the understanding that we are all 'pro-child." That is the common ground we share. And together we must fight these proposed cuts to our federal budget that would harm children and increase abortions.
You cannot be "pro-life" and support the GOP's budget.
Related Post: House GOP Cuts Are Theoligcally Immoral