Sunday, December 9, 2007

Are They Really Pro-Life?

It's easy to puff about labeling a newly fertilized egg a "person," but if Georgia legislators are really serious about wanting babies have a chance at life, then they ought to be advocating for women's health care instead of trying to create loopholes for insurance companies. Why? Healthy women are less likely to have premature babies-babies who are at increased risk of early death and who come with a 26 billion dollar a year national price tag for services like prenatal care.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in the U.S., one in every eight babies is born prematurely and is at increased risk for many developmental disorders and health problems. In Georgia, more than 12% of babies are born too soon, earning the state a ranking of 32nd in the nation-nothing to brag about.

Healthy mothers-including mental health-are less likely to deliver before 37 weeks. Babies are more likely to be born healthy if we improve access to quality health care for women, especially for those at higher risk for preterm birth.

We hear so much about the "paramount right to life" from Georgia republicans (and a couple of democrats), but when it comes to making sure mothers have access to health care, their silence is deafening. It's easy to engage in political rhetoric and drive wedge issues onto the ballot. It's a whole lot harder to actually do something to help babies arrive healthy and remain healthy. It seems to me that these legislators are on board as long as we're just talking about sperm and eggs, fine as long as the baby lives inside the mother, but when they can look the person in the eye, their commitment to life diminishes. Are they really pro-life, or just pro-birth, no matter how early?

1 comment:

Tina said...

I think the quality of our legislature would be greatly improved if they all had to take the high school graduation tests....the ones that have been mandated for our teens. In fact I would like to issue a challenge to see if any of them will volunteer to be tested on that level. :-)