Richard M. Doerflinger, USCCB: “Poverty and the hopelessness it can bring into people’s lives is a major factor in the abortion rate. In one study by the Guttmacher Institute, women on Medicaid had twice the abortion rate of other women, even in states that fund childbirth but not abortions.”
Mark Shriver: “Before President Johnson and my dad started making deep investments in anti-poverty programs like Head Start, about one quarter of all children and the elderly lived in poverty.
Ten years later, that number dropped to about 15 percent for both groups.
The elderly poverty rate kept decreasing and is now at a historic low of nine percent. But the percentage of kids living in poverty today has returned to mid-1960s levels. I believe that’s so because kids don’t have access to the political process the way other Americans do.
Childhood poverty doesn’t just cause misery for the most vulnerable of us, it sets them up for failure in school, in their health and, frankly, for the rest of their lives.”
Washington Post: “Child poverty rates reached 22 percent in 2010, up from 20.7 percent in 2009 and 16.2 percent in 2000, according to a September report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of children living in poverty increased from 13.1 million to 15.5 million, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.”
Vibe Ghana: “Organizers credit Mr. Kufuor with slashing the hunger rate in Ghana from 34 percent in 1990 to 9 percent in 2004. They praise Mr. da Silva with helping ensure more than 90 percent of Brazil’s children ate three meals a day, while reducing the rate of extreme poverty from 12 percent in 2003 to less than 5 percent in 2009.”
Steve Schneck: “At the beginning of life, Medicaid also pays for about one-third of all births in America. Maybe you know a scared young mom who needed such help. If you are pro-life, like me you realize what support for these births can mean.
Or maybe, like I do, you have a friend who lost his job and, despite best efforts, hasn’t found work. Unable to stretch unemployment insurance enough to make ends meet, he was embarrassed to need help, but at least he was able to feed his kids with food stamps. Maybe you, too, know a divorced mom with a special-needs child who is able to make it because of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance. We all know people in these situations. They’re our neighbors, our friends, our relatives. Maybe we’ve been there, too — or worry that someday it might be us or our loved ones in such circumstances.
Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 budget strategist, would cut all these programs and many others like them just when folks are struggling to stay afloat.”
Nicholas Kristof: “And Ms. Finiba, eight months pregnant and starving? With the help of Helen Keller International we were able to get her food and, it seems, medical care. But rising food prices may put millions more into Ms. Finiba’s sandals, just as donor countries’ budgets are under pressure.
We need more people raising Ms. Dave’s teary question: Is there anything we can do?
The answer is: Yes, definitely!”