Anti-choice zealots’ rhetoric around ‘the unborn child’ rings hollow when it comes to America’s hunger
It’s strange that so many of these politicians who talk about the sanctity of life are happy to leave people for dead the second they clean the birth canal.
If they really cared, this country would have affordable health care for all babies and their families, viable child care options for all, plus spectacular schools and decent places to live. We wouldn’t have millions of hungry children in this country every day.
“Hunger is a political condition,” said Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Worcester who has made his struggle his life’s work. “We have the food, the resources, the money and the infrastructure to end it. We have everything but the political will.
Here’s where a lack of that willpower has left us. In 2021, 38 million people in this country didn’t know where their next meal would come from, and that includes nearly 13 million children.
And hunger is expensive: McGovern cited a 2014 study that found that food insecurity cost $178 billion that year in healthcare costs, lost work hours and extra education expenses. It is not only a deficit of compassion that we are dealing with here, but a deficit of common sense.
The pandemic has laid bare food insecurity so acute and so deep that Congress and the White House have bolstered nutritional benefits and strengthened the system that puts food on more tables. The enhanced Child Tax Credit has lifted millions of Americans out of poverty.
But many of these sensible and compassionate measures have now expired, or soon will. Republicans who were happy to give corporations billions in tax breaks and pandemic grants drew the line to maintain the lifelines of poor families. But it wasn’t just Republicans: West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, one of the main obstacles to the Biden administration’s transformative social spending plan, privately suggested that poor families would use the credit. improved child tax for buying drugs.
This is how the richest nation in the world keeps its children hungry.
For years, McGovern has tried to convince colleagues, businesses and other stakeholders to come together to end hunger, as his mentor, Senator George McGovern, brought them together in 1969, when the White House hosted a conference on hunger. hunger and nutrition. This conference, held at Richard Nixon’s White House, helped create some of the vital threads in today’s food safety net, however torn.
“It’s no coincidence it was the same year we first put a man on the moon,” McGovern said. “We reached for the stars and tried to solve the hunger. We need to start thinking again about how we solve big problems.
Do we still live in this kind of country?
On Tuesday, the White House announced that in September President Biden will host the conference on food insecurity McGovern has been clamoring for. The administration has thrown its weight behind the initiative, which will bring together federal agencies, businesses, hunger advocates and, most importantly, those who have lived with hunger, to try to do what we should have done a long time ago.
McGovern says a few of his fellow Republicans understand the seriousness of the problem and are ready to join the fight. But it will take more than a few Republicans to stand with us if we are to fix our disgraceful record of neglect once and for all.
Of course, that would force them to care about the kids as much as some of them claim to care about zygotes.