"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


this is pro-life?!?

It is unconscionable that seven Republican Senators are holding up authorization for PEPFAR, a program that treats and helps 3 million HIV/AIDS victims, a huge percentage of which live in Africa. Unconscionable. They're asking for unnecessary and ultimately harmful provisions in the legislation, and all of their shenanigans may result in the program being cut by 50%. Michael Gerson's article does a great job of explaining the issue.

(I would add to his points that one of the reasons nutrition is now included in PEPFAR-supported programs is that we've learned that anti-retrovirals don't do much good if the patient doesn't have enough healthy food to eat. Adequate nutrition is just as important as the drugs themselves.)

Even better is the fact that all of these Senators make a big deal of being pro-life when they're up for re-election. Apparently that doesn't apply to children who are already here.

If you live in one of these states, this is your problem. Your Senators are elected to govern on your behalf, and to do what you want them to do. If you believe it's important for children and other victims of HIV/AIDS who are poor to get treatment, PLEASE take a minute to call your Senator and ask him to release their holds on the re-authorization for PEPFAR:
  • Tom Coburn, M.D. (Oklahoma) - Senator Coburn is leading the effort to block this program. The fact that he is a doctor makes this all the more appalling. 202-224-5754
  • Jim DeMint (South Carolina) - 202-224-6121
  • Jeff Sessions (Alabama) - 202 -224-4124
  • Saxby Chambliss (Georgia) - 202-224-3521
  • David Vitter (Louisiana) - 202-224-4623
  • Jim Bunning (Kentucky) - 202-224-4343
  • Richard Burr (North Carolina) - 202-224-3154
I will be in DC all next week, and while my plan is to spend most of my time there in the Library of Congress, I will probably also be going to each of these Senators' offices to argue with their staffs about their unbelievably callous approach to the lives of innocent children.

And I'm taking pictures of Olivier with me.

If this is something you feel is important, please post about it on your blog this week. Feel free to copy and paste anything you need from this post. I think the lives of 3,000,000 people are worth any effort we can make.


Blogger Tricia said...

I live in SC, so I called Jim Demint last night and left a message. I sent him an email too.

Do you think it will make a difference? I hope so.

Thursday, May 15, 2008 7:29:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Thanks, Tricia! Elected officials always pay attention to what their voters say - your comments will go into a tally of what people in South Carolina are concerned about. It may or may not change his mind, but thanks for taking a stand about this!

Thursday, May 15, 2008 12:23:00 PM


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