I applaud Jennifer Granholm, former Michigan governor and host of The War Room on Current TV, for her recent piece calling out Republicans for their hypocritical stance insisting that every fertilized egg be carried to term, while at the same time not caring much about what happens to children once they are born. She openly challenges the Republican party by stating that if they truly had children’s best interests at heart, they would care enough about them to ensure that once they are born they are not abused, neglected, starved, or murdered: “At the state level GOP governors are cutting the child protection workers who handle child abuse and neglect cases — you know, those awful public employees who must have caused the financial crisis. Programs that would benefit at-risk children outside the womb are all on the chopping block. For example, Republicans have introduced HR 3803, a bill called the ‘Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act.’ And the bill to protect born children from pain is…?” (Huffington Post).
Republicans have been working at a feverish pace to pass anti-abortion legislation. According to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager with the Guttmacher Institute in New York, prior to 2011, the highest number of abortion restrictions ever to be passed in a year on the state level was 34, which occurred in 2005. But in 2011, a record 92 abortion restrictions were passed, followed by 39 thus far in 2012 (nbcnews.com). Yet at the same time, the Republican party is working equally hard to cut social services programs that would help support these children once they are born. In May, the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted to replace a 10 percent cut to the military budget with cuts to domestic programs, including health care and food stamps: “Fully 25 percent of the cuts come from programs that benefit the poor, while cuts to President Barack Obama’s health care plan also affect those with modest incomes, prevention funding, and efforts by states to set up insurance exchanges. A cut to the Social Services Block Grants, which Republicans say duplicates other programs, would hit programs like Meals on Wheels for the elderly, child care and child abuse prevention. Another provision opposed by most Democrats would deny undocumented immigrants tax refunds from the $1,000-per-child tax credit – even though most of the children in question are U.S. citizens” (Huffington Post).
Here are the raw facts that Republicans appear to be denying. According to Child Maltreatment 2010, a report based on data submissions by state child protective services, during federal fiscal year 2010, an estimated 3.3 million referrals involving the alleged maltreatment of approximately 5.9 million children were made to child protective services agencies. 58.6 percent of all reports of alleged child abuse or neglect were made by professionals. Of the reports that were substantiated, the number of estimated duplicate victims of abuse or neglect was 754,000; the number of estimated unique victims was 695,000. 78.3% of unique victims suffered neglect, while 17.6% suffered physical abuse. An estimated 1,560 children died due to abuse and neglect (childwelfare.gov).
Governor Granholm is right when she states that the Republican party has shown that it is pro-birth and not pro-life. So my question is this: how can these legislators justify their actions when they are fully aware that their political stance is harming–and in some cases possibly killing children? If legislators are going to insist that every fetus be carried to term, they also need to commit to protecting and supporting each and every one after delivery.