Letting Children Die

The wealthiest nation in the world, a phrase we use often enough when it suits us, has the second worst infant mortality rate in the modern world (tied with the United Kingdom). It seems to me we should be doing better, but the United States, with all its technology, money, and more neonatal and intensive care beds per person than several countries, still ignores women on many levels. Many, especially those in rural or urban areas, do not have access to the information necessary to take proper care of their children in the womb. Prenatal vitamins, even with a prescription, are expensive, and not necessarily a good purchase to make over food, milk, or heat. Low income mothers cannot afford to cut back on their work hours to give themselves the amount of rest required to actually grow a person inside of them, and the nutrition statistics for the average American make it pretty clear that few are eating what they must to keep themselves healthy, let alone an unborn child.

After the baby is born, most mothers must return to work immediately in order to pay for the care of the child, forcing them to place the child in Day Care, where understaffing (the pay and conditions are atrocious) and a general lack of knowledge on the part of the providers (only one per site MUST be college educated) can lead to illness, malnutrition, accidents, abuse, and neglect (trust me, my husband teaches preschool, I’ve seen this first-hand).

So why does this happen? I feel it has a lot to do with the lack of respect afforded women in or culture. No guys, we are not doing well. American culture does not teach a respect for women or mothers, and it still does not treat us as equals. For a better model, take a look at Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Germany, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada. We are still treated as objects to be possessed, unable to take care of ourselves, and unworthy of equal pay and benefits. We ARE the givers of life. Yes, you have a small part in it, but we are the ones who make the decisions to have, keep, and raise a child, with less than equal help from men. We MUST demand better treatment, equal treatment, respectful treatment. And obviously, we have to do it ourselves. Ever woman should be actively involved in Women’s Organizations, regardless of your religious beliefs. We have to work together to save ourselves, our children, and our society. If we don’t, no one else will.

These are my favorites, but more organizations can be found at The National Council of Woman’s Organizations:
National Association of Working Women
Alice Paul Institute
American Medical Women’s Association


8 Responses to “Letting Children Die”

  1. 1 BarbaraFromCalifornia
    May 20, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you for helping raise awareness to a very important issue, P.

    Like yourself, being an advocate for those who cannot speak has so many rewards.

    I have a post up today on this same type of issue.

    Truly, your efforts are so appreciated.

  2. 2 United We Lay
    May 20, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you. That’s very nice to hear. I think women are often the silent majority. We don’t have as manmy women in political positions as we should to support the “silent majority” and as a result women around the country, and the world, suffer. We have some of the strongest woemn in the world, end yet our voices remain unheard. I think Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others would not be proud of what little we have accomplished since their time, and in fact, I think they might see us as having gone backward.

  3. 3 Mohamed
    May 21, 2006 at 11:26 am

    a very good post indeed. However weeks ago i was sitting in a cafe in Cairo, Egypt. and i got my hands on an issue of the times magazine (international edition) the title was this “The Myth of women equality in Europe” and the article goes on to describe how long pregnanncy leaves from work in Europ forces women to drop of careers etc… and how good and great it was for women in the US career wise!! the whole article was so fake and untrue and full of bullshit that i wondred can’t they just understand how much higher is the level of child and family care in Sweden, Germany, Finaland, Netherlands etc…?? and how much lower are crime rates in these countries due to more coherent families?!

    honestly such an article at the Times mag. works well for an average American who knows nothing about the world outside America “the wealthiest nation in the world with the worst income distribution scheme!”

    all in all once i read this statistic about the second highest child mort. rates i said to myself bingo! that is exactly what i was thinking about as the sorts of problems while reading the Times stupied, fake article!

    good post again, and good luck

  4. 4 Jessica
    May 22, 2006 at 5:14 am

    I stumbled across this exact article. I also decided that the last thing a pregnant woman should read about is high infant mortality–too much fear and guilt at the same time is a bad combination. Not to belittle the issue.

  5. 5 Ed Abbey
    May 22, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    In my travels to Europe, I have found that women are treated as equals to men and only in my travels to Asia have I seen a large disparity in comparison to the United States. In my observations, I think nutrition is the biggest reasons for the high mortality rates here in the states, not equality issues. In Europe and Asia, I see very few overweight women where here, they are perhaps in the majority. An overweight friend who smokes recently gave birth to a baby 16 weeks prematurely. This is becoming more and more common as our societal weight increases as well as our intake of Big Macs.

  6. 6 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    May 22, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Glad to see the UK is tying the US for being rubbish…

  7. 7 United We Lay
    May 23, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    You’re right, that’s just not true. Being pregnant in America, especially as a teacher, means you can’t get a job. No one hires someone they know will be out on leave. Besides that, we’re not treated well as women in the workplace, let alone as pregnant women.

    Yes, that was a difficult article to read. mmY husband tried to convince me to visit relatives in Canada just before I’m due. At least that way, our child would be a Canadian citizen.

    I think there’s a pretty large disparity here, though not nearly as bad as Asia. Againg, I point to the number of women in high level corporate positions as well as the number of women in government offices. We can do more than education policy, and should be respected more, as the children ARE coming out of us.

  8. 8 Ed Abbey
    May 23, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    I have worked for various manufacturing companies in my career so far and most have one thing in common, the managers all tend to get pulled from the engineering or technical pool of workers. Occasionally you see someone from the financial side but not nearly as common. In college, out of my graduating class of 130 engineers, five were female. So it stands to reason that there is to be a disparity when it comes to looking at male/female ratios in corporate structure.

    It hasn’t been too long ago when a woman’s job was as a secretary. That is changing and women in corporate positions are increasing all the time but it will still be a long time before things equalize. Give it time. Think back to slavery and how long it took after the war to equalize things. In fact, one could say they are still not equal.

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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