"Mothers Facing Pollution Risks Find Allies in the Religious Right
The religious right and environmentalists are teaming up to protect women and their babies from the dangers of exposure to pollution and toxic waste.
By Teresita Perez March 12, 2007
Tuli Hughes's first three pregnancies ended in miscarriage. During her fourth pregnancy, she gave birth prematurely to a baby with a fatal birth defect who died a few minutes after being born. On her fifth try, Tuli again gave birth prematurely; the baby weighed about one pound and also died within minutes.
An explanation may be found in the environmental conditions in Tuli's neighborhood of Bayview-Hunters Point, which is home to San Francisco's main power and sewage treatment plants and the now-closed Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a Superfund toxic waste site.
… Conservative evangelical Christians have begun to press for stronger environmental protections to ensure the health of vulnerable communities. Much attention has been given to recent efforts by prominent evangelicals pressing for action on global warming. But some are also taking on mercury pollution as a threat to the "sanctity of life." …
Religious conservatives are starting to take note of this reproductive risk. At an anti-abortion-rights rally last year, evangelical leaders from the National Association of Evangelicals and the Evangelical Environmental Network actually carried a banner that read "Stop Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn" and distributed fliers that urged Christians to speak out against President Bush's Orwellian "Clear Skies Initiative."
"Clear Skies" purports to clamp down on mercury emissions and other air pollution, but in fact relaxes existing protections under the Clean Air Act. EPA's Children's Health Advisory Committee concluded that the plan "does not sufficiently protect our nation's children." Congress has failed to pass "Clear Skies" legislation, but the administration is putting in place major elements through regulation. …"
Read the rest here from American Progress.