Saturday, July 16, 2016

Creating suffering and harm where it need not be - self-centeredness in Zika politics

Evidence shows that just in the US to-date, July 16, 2016, at least 649 women have a Zika infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is a bill that has passed both Houses of Congress, has been through conference and House conference report approval, that is now awaiting Senate approval of the conference report to then get to Presidential approval. Approval would lead to funding - but self-centered politics is now getting in the way of reducing harm.

Here is an excerpt from a critical editorial, with a link to the full article:

"A bipartisan $1.1 billion compromise on the White House funding request passed both the House and Senate overwhelmingly, and the House recently passed the conference report, which can’t be amended. Only after the report came to the floor of the Senate did Democrats discover they couldn’t support the bill, which failed in a 52-44 procedural vote.

Democrats now claim the measure would have “banned” Planned Parenthood from the health-care providers list and restricted funding for birth control. In fact, Planned Parenthood simply isn’t on the specific list of public health clinics and community health centers that will receive additional and immediate social-services block-grant funding in Zika-hit locales like Puerto Rico."

After reading the details in the editorial, what do you think?

Are the reasons given for changing their support of the bill and the Zika prevention funding into opposition to this funding bill, to vote against the bill, are these reasons sufficient to justify the increased threat and harm to mothers, children and society?

What is appropriate and skillful action for those with legislative responsibility in the face of the Zika virus threat?

What about the rest of us?