The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Who Puts the Unborn at Risk?

Apr 19, 2004

After signing a bill in early April called the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act," the president said "... we reaffirm that the United States of America is building a culture of life." The bill creates a new federal offense when the fetus of a pregnant woman is harmed during the commission of certain crimes against women.

Is this administration the champion of "life" for the unborn fetus? Of course not.

If it were true, what would we see? U.S. maternal health care would take a leap forward, with funding to provide good nutrition and medical check-ups for every pregnant woman in the country. The reality is that the administration has opposed any kind of national health care. It proposes cut backs in the federal WIC program, which provides nutrition supplements to more than seven million pregnant women, infants and children. When handing out tax breaks for the rich, Bush and company opposed any tax deductions for low income families who must pay thousands of dollars for their health insurance or for the care of elderly family members.

If it were true that this administration intends to "help" the unborn, then what else would be happening? Serious environmental issues would be sorted out with technology already available–to protect the especially vulnerable fetus from such poisons as mercury, pesticides and lead. Babies born with such exposure are likely to have health problems for their entire lives.

Under the current administration we see the opposite. Instead of making power plant operators cut back by 90% on the poisonous mercury they currently spew forth, the administration is delaying the cutbacks of mercury emissions for the next 15 years. And even then the reduction would be only a third of what is already possible. Instead of implementing world standards on Persistent Organic Pollutants, like dioxins, the current administration makes it difficult to regulate or eliminate these pollutants widely used in chemicals for household products. Instead of reducing the use of lead, the administration wants lead industry representatives to regulate their own industry. Lead is particularly dangerous to unborn children, affecting the development of the brain.

The Bush administration–the great defenders of the unborn, as they claim–are more blatant in their hypocrisy than most politicians. They are the ones who ought to be called the "baby killers."