Reading (2) about the political manouvers of the religious right in the USA, particulalry about how issues like abortion, evolution and feminism were used to divert working- and middle-class voters' attention away from economic issues, I was sickened to read about the consequences of this rightwing hypocrisy.
This report (3) highlights on jaw dropping statistic - that 21,000 babies under one year of age die every year, needlessly. We know these are avoidable deaths because they represent the difference between the infant mortality rate in the USA, and the infant mortality rate in Sweden. If the Swedes can save those tiny lives, then there is no reason why the Americans can not.
The fact is that they choose not to. While abortion is a massive issue in American politics, one that motivates hundreds of thousands of radical Republicans and Christians, it seems that the 'Right to Life' stops at the moment of birth. Rather than provide the social care and health services these new-borns need, they imediately fall off the radar. And 21,000 - twenty one thousand - die needlessly.
The reason for this holocaust is that saving their lives would mean raising taxes, building up a welfare state and strong public institutions to protect and nurture these children. Instead, they are espendable, the youngest and most pathetic child-soldiers in the new-right's war on taxes, government and 'collectivism.'
Where-ever you go on the internet, you trip over pictures of dismembered fetuses, images of dismembered partial-birth abortions and the like. They are distressing. But the 21,000 invisible casualties of Americas culture wars do not appear. The hypocrisy and inhumanity of the American right glories in the rescuing of unborn children - and gladly sacrifices 21,000 babies under a year old.
1 - Posted on No Right Turn, by Idiot/Savant, 18th of July, 2008. (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/07/staggering.html)
2 - As described previously on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2008/07/rightwing-victimhood.html
3 - 'The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2008-2009 ,' published by the American Human Development Project, (http://www.measureofamerica.org/).
The information about infant mortality is found on page 4 of the Executive Summary (http://measureofamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/ahdr-execsumm.pdf).