According to an investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia has the dubious honor of being one of the most dangerous places for children in the United States, as it’s “among the leaders in firearms deaths, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and several potentially fatal diseases, in addition to maltreatment deaths.”
Worse, the newspaper found that Georgia’s Division of Family and Children’s Services’ examinations of such incidents are “alarmingly inadequate.”
The AJC compiled statistics that point to a disturbing picture for the state’s children:
“The Journal-Constitution examined 2,230 deaths of children reported statewide between January 2011 and July 2013. Among them, 135 were homicides and 71 were suicides. Authorities said 462 children died by accident. But the newspaper’s review suggests as many as one in four accidental deaths actually were caused at least in part by adults’ negligent or reckless conduct.”
Unfortunately, while Georgia’s institutions are struggling to meet the needs of the state’s existing children, Republican Governor Nathan Deal remains intent on reducing women’s access to safe abortions. It seems that, for Deal, the importance of a child’s right to life ends shortly after birth.
Most recently, Deal, a self-described opponent of abortion, vowed to ban insurance coverage for abortions for Georgia’s 650,000 public employees, even though a measure to do the same failed in Georgia’s legislature. A previous restriction supported by Deal was suspended by a Georgia court in December, after the ACLU filed a lawsuit. The legislation, which made no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, would have limited abortions after 20 weeks, forcing “a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to wait for her condition to deteriorate until she was in a medical emergency before offering her abortion care,” according to the ACLU.
Maybe Deal should spend a little less time paying lip service to “the sanctity of all human life,” while disregarding and directly countering the needs of the women and children of his state.