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Media Porn Hides Real Threats to Children


By Michael Collins - Posted on 07 July 2011

By Michael Collins

Who knows if Casey Anthony is guilty or innocent? Even Casey might not know at this point. We do know one thing, without any doubt. As our economy and nation crumble around us, we're being amused to death by the corporate media. They've got good reason to keep the headlines on Casey. Absent a major distraction, there might be a focused look at the misrule and looting of this country for the past decades that has created the real threats to the health of children.
"Infant mortality is an important indicator of the health of a nation, and the recent stagnation (since 2000) in the U.S. infant mortality rate has generated concern among researchers and policy makers." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, November 2009
The run rate for deaths for children less than one year of age, infants, is around 30,000 per year. Have we heard that figure from corporate media lately? Our international ranking fell for infant mortality from 12th in 1960 to 23d in 1990 and to 29th in 2004. The US is currently ranked at number 46 in the world in preserving the lives of its infants.

Something is very wrong with the care of children, infants in particular. Why did the MMWR of the Centers for Disease Control say infant mortality is an index for "the health of a nation"?
It's simple. Pre and post natal care are well defined health care functions. Pregnant mothers who eat properly, avoid toxins (including all "substances"), and receive proper medical care are much more likely to have a live birth and successful infant period for their child. CDC estimates that expanding the reducing the rate of preterm births would save the lives of 8,000 infants a year (of the 30,000 lost to infant mortality).
There is also a relationship between demographic factors and infant mortality:
"In the United States, historically there has been a negative relationship between infant mortality rates and economic factors such as average wage." Wikipedia (research summary)
We hear a lot about the right to life but what about the right of infants to live through their first year of life?
Tens of millions of citizens are denied proper medical care. This has an impact.
Lack of insurance is highly related to poor medical care.
Low wages and lower socioeconomic status is related to poor medical care.
One of the outcomes is that 8,000 infants die each year because we can't get it together to secure the right to life of the weakest among us.
When is the last time you heard a politician lose it in a rage over 8,000 dead infants each year?
But how long will it be until we hear the corporate media and screaming heads on cable news ranting on about the next isolated outrage against one child? How long will that media circus last?
I find it ironic that the latest word on life and death issues in the public dialog came from Casey Anthony's defense attorney. In his post-trial press conference, Jose Baez said, "We all need to stop and look and think about a country that decides to kill its own citizens…It's disgusting." July 5 (4:20 on tape)
Mr. Baez was talking about the death penalty but the words apply to the needless deaths of infants through social and economic policies that create the conditions for needless loss and suffering.
The facts on infant mortality are well known in our national and state capitals. It's no secret that the problem is getting worse by the decade. The solutions are no secret either. The entire process of denying care is an open book. No conspiracies here. Just intentional child neglect by those who claim to defend children.
(Image: Sheknows, Wikipedia)
END
This article may be reproduced entirely or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.
Infant Mortality in the United States 1935-2007: Maternal and Child Health Bureau 2007
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