Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who's a Baby Killer?

In their latest budget, the "pro-life" Republicans in the House proposed cutting millions from government programs aimed at reducing premature birth. Charles Blow summarizes:

• $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.

We already have the highest infant mortality rate of all the world's advanced economies, and these measures would lead to the death of yet more babies. And, you know, this won't save the government much money. In this country we spend $26 billion a year taking care of premature babies, so almost any measure that reduces the number of premature births pays for itself in the long run. The Planned Parenthood clinics the GOP is determined to defund mostly distribute birth control to poor women, and cutting their budgets will only increase the number of ill-prepared women who get pregnant.

Do they really care about babies' lives, or not?

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