Pollution Kills Babies (But So Do War and Poverty…)

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San Francisco, that lovely city by the bay where you once left your heart—and home of Mother Jones, has the lowest infant mortality rate of any large U.S. city. But one neighborhood has the highest rate anywhere in California—comparable to those of developing countries. That neighborhood is the troubled Bayview-Hunters Point, home of gang violence, the city’s main power and sewage treatment plants and a Superfund toxic waste site. Resident Tuli Hughes has lost 5 babies there.

Exposure to even small amounts of toxic substances during early pregnancy can result in miscarriages. That’s abortion by neglect, or so a new report from the Center for American Progress attempts to persuade evangelicals, AlterNet reports approvingly. Indeed, the religious right has begun to take some interest in environmental “sanctity of life” issues, but thus far they have focused on mercury in fish—a problem far more likely to affect middle-class women (and, you know, fetuses).

I’m not convinced this is the best way to persuade people that environmental injustice is wrong. All people have equal rights to have a baby, but the world is overpopulated and anti-choice arguments hardly need encouragement. Maybe we should just call environmental injustice what it is—genocide.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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