What could be more oriented toward caring for people in families than to ensure universal access to health care that includes abortion? Yet, the Republicans have spent over two decades fighting against what is in the public interest, favoring their own political and corporate interests. In 2009, just weeks after Obama’s inauguration, members of the GOP determined to roadblock the administration’s efforts for universal health care. In fact, just as they did during the Clinton administration, the Republicans were far more concerned with their party than with the good of the nation. You may recall all the specious arguments made by the right wing over health care including death panels and government takeover of health care. Their worry was not about the health care of Americans but the viability of their own party. So while the GOP worries about their own survival, pushes for states’ right and less government, here’s a few troubling points that make their self-interested agenda seem downright draconian and against family, children, and, especially, women.
Abortion and Unwanted Children
According to Russo and David, writing for Transnational Family Research Institute, “there is a substantial literature that documents the serious health, social, psychological, and economic consequences of unintended and unwanted childbearing. These consequences can include increased maternal and infant death and illness, unstable marriages, and the restriction of educational and occupational opportunities leading to poverty and limited roles for women. These adverse effects are not shared equally by all segments of society, and in the United States fall more heavily on those who are poor, young, or members of an ethnic minority group. Further, evidence suggests that even in advantageous social and economic circumstances, when a pregnancy is unwanted and the women requests an abortion, to deny it forces her to bear a child at risk for psychological problems that are long lasting.”
In a follow up to the 1995 report, The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well-Being of Children and Families, the current study, a white paper titled The Consequences of Unintended Childbearing, suggest that experiencing a birth or pregnancy that was unintended by the mother, who is most often studied, is associated with an array of negative outcomes, including delayed pre- natal care, reduced likelihood of breastfeeding, poorer mental and physical health during childhood, poorer educational and behavioral outcomes of the child, poorer maternal mental health, lower mother-child relationship quality, and an increased risk of the mother experiencing physical violence during pregnancy.
Yet, the so-called prolife folks, mostly Republicans, want to deny abortion rights, claiming all life is sacred. What a bunch of BS.
Here’s a look at what happens when states are responsible for protecting children. Some states have little to no money to protect them.
Of the 715,760 children confirmed abused and neglected in 2008:
• 71.1% did not receive proper food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, education, medical care or protection.
• 16.1% were physically abused.
• 9.1% were sexually abused.
• 7.3% suffered from emotional abuse.
• 2.2% suffered from medical neglect.
• 9% suffered from other mistreatment such as abandonment, threats, and congenital drug addiction
• 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child
Of the millions of children reported abused or neglected each year, several thousand are in life threatening situations. In response to the statistics, the federal government began work in 2010 to increase public awareness of child fatalities and to enlist the federal government in elevating the issue. In their report, they found among the rich democracies, the U.S. child abuse death rate is 3 times higher than Canada’s, and 11 times higher than Italy’s. What accounts for the differences? Among other things, teen pregnancy, violent crime, imprisonment, and poverty rates are much lower in these countries. Further, their social policies in support of families are much greater and typically include childcare, universal health insurance, paid parental leave, visiting nurses, and more—all things which together can prevent child abuse and neglect in the first place—-all social policies the Republican party wants to deny American families.
The media repeats the meme “The Party of No” to define the GOP. There’s a bit of truth here when Republicans care more for their party’s survival and less for the very families they claim to embrace. It’s more family values malarkey.