The Aug. 11 letter, "Save unborn children here in the US," seems to place concern for the unborn above the deaths of children already born. Whether life begins at conception is hotly debated. But there can be no legitimate debate over the need to protect the lives and well-being of children already born.
Where is the outrage over South Carolina's high rate of infant mortality deaths and high level of premature births? Where is the outrage over the lack of access to health insurance for low-income women who are the most likely to have premature births, with the accompanying risks of early death to their children, and developmental problems that families and our education and heath care systems will have to deal with for the rest of their lives?
The March of Dimes gives South Carolina a grade of D, listing it among the highest in the U.S. for premature births, at 14.1 percent, and a stunning 26.2 percent for uninsured women.
South Carolina's failure to accept federal funds for the expansion of Medicaid now impedes access to prenatal heath care for low-income South Carolina women, resulting in unnecessary early deaths and life-long developmental problems for thousands of children. South Carolina taxpayers deserve a return of their federal tax dollars to expand Medicaid.
South Carolina leaders have the power to give South Carolina's children from low-income families a better start in life, and lower taxpayer burden in the bargain.