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Monday, April 23, 2007
(11:42 AM) | Stephen:
Mississippi Should Not Be Our Example

I've said this before, but it bears repeating what with the news on infant mortality in Mississippi: pro-choice is the actual pro-life position. Those who call themselves "pro-life" are merely anti-abortion/anti-choice.

Barney Frank, God bless him, has said that for Republicans, life begins at conception and ends at birth. That's pretty much true, as far as the policy direction of the party goes. In Mississippi, Haley Barbour has made good on promises to scale back Medicaid. When we don't provide medical services to babies who otherwise will not receive them, then the infant mortality rate is going to go up. It's just that simple.

Now, if people want to argue that a higher infant mortality rate is acceptable if the "benefit" is lower taxes, then fine. Let's have that argument. If people want to put other services into place that provide the same services that Medicaid does but doesn't use tax money, fine. Let's see them. But spare me the ridiculous idea that legal abortion is an American Holocaust while having the 2nd highest infant mortality rate* in the developed world is acceptable.

It's the same thing with the recent Supreme Court decision on the partial-birth abortion ban. Anti-choicers have flooded the country with the idea that this is a ban on late-term abortions, when it is nothing of the sort. Late-term abortions are already illegal in every state, with varying levels of exceptions. The Supreme Court decision was about an abortion procedure that is used only to protect the life and/or health of a mother when a pregnancy has gone dangerously wrong. Partial-birth abortions, which can take place as early as 11 weeks, are often the best way to ensure that a woman can get pregnant again after requiring - it's never done for convenience - an abortion.

What this means is simple. Thanks to the anti-choice movement, there will be women in this country who will lose their ability to bear children through no fault of their own. They will still need to have abortions, because they will be in danger, so this stupid ban will reduce the number of abortions by zero. But I suppose it doesn't matter to anti-choicers that women will suffer physically and emotionally from this ban, that couples will find themselves unable to bear children because of it. All that matters is that some imaginary woman will not be able to have an imaginary procedure, so that an imaginary child - one without real-world deformities - will be able to enjoy an imaginary childhood in an imaginary home with plenty of access to good imaginary food, affordable imaginary healthcare and top-notch imaginary schools.

*Who has the highest rate? Latvia, where they have 6 deaths per 1,000. We have 5 per 1,000 and we're tied with Poland, Hungary, Malta and Slovakia. As far as being a newborn, being born in the world's richest country, the bulwark of democracy and freedom, is somewhat similar to being born in a nation that spent decades under the oppressive thumb of the old Soviet Union.

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