Thursday, August 2, 2018

America’s endangered species, white babies


In 1905, just as women were beginning to understand conception well enough to attempt to avoid  it, pregnancy became a symbol of patriotism and national pride.

President Theodore Roosevelt summoned 

“all healthy women to bear at least four children, preferably six.”

He felt that to use birth control or fail to keep up with the birth rate of ethnic minorities was to risk suicide. In March, 1905, he attacked birth control and condemned the tendency towards smaller families as decadent, a sign of moral disease.
“....There are regions in our land, and classes of our population, where the birth rate has sunk below the death rate...willful sterility is, from the standpoint of the nation, from the standpoint of the human race, the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement….."
August, 2011
“....Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That's not...constructive to our    culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate get down below replacement rate we're a dying civilization.” ~ Rep. Steve King (R-IA) 
The never-ending debate over abortion has become more intense in recent years as many states have introduced increased abortion restrictions.

Texas has led in this area, in 2013 enacting a law requiring abortion clinics to adhere to the standards of surgical centers and employ doctors with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. 

November, 2015

The Supreme Court heard a case challenging the constitutionality of the Texas provisions as undue burdens on women seeking abortions. In a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court threw out the Texas abortion access law.

There was the Life at Conception Act to implement equal protection under the 14th amendment for the right to life of each born and preborn human person; the Sanctity of Human Life Act to provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization; the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy; The Heartbeat Protection Act to prohibit abortion in cases where a fetal heartbeat is detectable and too many more to count. 

 According to anti-abortion rhetoric, the abortion rate for Black women is almost 4 times that of White women.  Keep in mind, that the above stats would not include the abortions performed by private doctors.  
Anyone would gather that the Republicans are consumed with concern for the welfare of children. Yet, according to Child Trends, about 1.4 million children in the U.S. were homeless at the start of the 2013-14 school year. Of course, children not enrolled in school, are less easily measured, but presumably would push the total number of homeless children and youth significantly higher. Every housing act was introduced by a Democrat.

The above chart is an example of where America’s racial perceptions come from.  According to  the chart, housing vouchers advantage whites far more than others.  But look at the title of the chart.  It should have said “poor American families”. 
Did you know $99 million worth of food stamps were redeemed on military bases in 2012?  We pay the men and women who risk their lives for our safety so little that their children qualify for free breakfast and lunch programs at school. According to the GAO, in 2015, 24 percent of 23,000 children in U.S. DoDEA schools were eligible for free meals, while 21 percent were eligible for reduced-price meals.  Republicans voted to cut SNAP by $40 billion, while soldiers received a measly 1.4% pay raise.

Republicans cut funding for WIC, the supplemental nutrition for women, infants and children. Even after the pay raise in 2017, most enlisted families at rank E-6 ( 10+ years of service) and below with one child qualify for WIC. Because the WIC qualifications are calculated based on household size, families with more children could qualify for WIC even as an E-8 with 18 years of military service. 

Republicans care so much about America’s children that 1 in 6 children in America may not know where they will get their next meal. For the nearly 13 million kids in the U.S. facing hunger. Yet, the Republicans concentrate on how to slash funding for food stamps. 

It is difficult to track the number of military families that use SNAP. because the Pentagon and the USDA have not shared data on the subject. But according to a 2016 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about 23,000 active-duty troops used food stamps in 2013 (most recent year data available).

About 751,000 food stamp transactions, or almost $80 million in purchases, were completed at military commissaries in 2015, (the latest year data available).

While our legislators are upending every hard-earned reproductive right American women have, the United States is an active participant in Family Planning 2020 , a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. The program works to give millions of women and girls throughout the world access to contraceptives, all women of color. Is it family planning or population control?

No comments:

Post a Comment