Does Randal Terry Give a Shit?

DRice, April 1995ce

While self-professed "pro-lifers" bemoan and bewail the "murder" of tens of thousands of "babies" (i.e. fetuses) each year due to abortion, millions of people--- mostly infants and young children--- die from easily preventable diseases and starvation. Where is Randal Terry's media-grabbing outrage at these deaths of REAL, already existing HUMAN BEINGS?!

Although effective chemotherapy and insecticides have eliminated malaria in most of the western hemisphere, these measures have been less successful in Asia. Both the infecting parasite and its mosquito carrier have become resistant to current drugs, and 200 million persons are estimated to have malaria in tropical areas. In sub-Saharan Africa some 1 million children under five years of age die of this disease each year. Where is the "pro-life" leaders chest-beating and fund-rasing antics over this PREVENTABLE tragedy? Is it that they don't care because it is "just" Asian children dying? The links between "pro-life" forces and various national neo-Nazi organizations makes me wonder.

Schistosomiasis affects 125 million persons worldwide, of whom approximately 20 percent are at least partly disabled by the disease. Praziquantel, a highly effective new drug, is now available for treatment of schistosomiasis. Where is "Operation 'Rescue'" and their already-in-place fund-rasing resources, to fund distribution of Praziquantel throughout the "third world?" If Randal Terry REALLY gave a shit about "children," what the hell is he doing for ALREADY EXISTING children that are being maimed, deformed, and killed by this PREVENTABLE disease?

Although tuberculosis is largely under control in developed countries, it is still a considerable public health problem in much of the world and is responsible for about half a million deaths annually, 75 percent of them in Asia. Where is Randal Terry's outcry against TB? Why is he failing to demand that every citizen on Earth be vaccinated? The vaccination costs less than a dollar each--- for a few billion dollars (a fraction of the interest America accrues on its debts), we could utterly eradicate this disease from the fact of the Earth. If Randal Terry actually cared about children, instead actually working towards controlling and manipulating the lives of women, surely he would be doing something about TB, right?

Other diseases for which treatment is available but which are still common in developing countries include cholera, yellow fever, yaws, and amoebic dysentery. Death from dysentery can be avoided by administering fresh water with a slight bit of salt and sugar in it--- for the costs of just pennies a day. The largest number of deaths by dysentery are infants. The "pro-life" cults are strangly silent about the far, far greater numbers of REAL infants dying from dysentery, than their loud and pious complaints over the far fewer number of fetuses being aborted each year. If their goals were REALLY what they assert, and not their obvious goals of "punishing" women, they would be out fighting these PREVENTABLE diseases which kill over a million children a year.

As many as 25 million persons have become blind from preventable diseases in tropical countries. These diseases include xerophthalmia, due to lack of vitamin A in the diet; onchocerciasis, or river blindness, an infection of the skin by filarial larvae that may also affect the conjunctiva of the eye; and trachoma, a chronic conjuctival infection caused by the parasitic bacterium _Chlamydia_trachomatis_, which is transmitted by flies or through close personal contact. Does the "pro-life" forces care? What are they doing about this?

So what =COULD= the "Operation 'Rescue'" cults be doing to prevent the senseless, needless deaths of these REAL, ALREADY LIVING people? They could be using their existing fund- raising resources to funnel money from their affiliate cults into the World Health Organization.

Ah, but no! "Pat" Robertson and James Doyson equate the WHO as part of the dreaded, evil, Satan-hearlding "New World Order," and denounce the WHO at every turn. After all, the WHO fully supports all forms of birth control, up to abortion and freely available condoms to teen-agers, no questions asked.

Does the "pro-life" force REALLY care about "the babies?" Don't bet your life, or over a million others annually, on it!



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