A “pro-life” broadcaster dismissed concerns about the Flint water crisis and the Zika virus as liberal conspiracy theories that weren’t worthy of her concern.
Sandy Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs and the host of a daily syndicated radio program, said neither health crisis posed as much threat as Islamic State militants or Latino immigrants, reported Right Wing Watch.
A caller asked Rios, who campaigns against both abortion and contraception, why she and other conservatives had been largely silent about the Flint water crisis, which was caused in no small part by directives imposed on city officials by the state’s Republican administration.
Rios blamed the city’s Democratic city officials, who were largely powerless to refuse state orders, and said she didn’t care about the issue as much as she feared ISIS and “our out-of-control borders.”
“The whole issue in Michigan — the left loves to, they’re now creating this, I’m sorry, I’m going to really go out on a limb here, this Zika virus which I haven’t talked about,” Rios said. “They love to come up with tragedies and they love to blame and they love to scare people. I think this issue in Michigan is a serious one, but I don’t think it’s the big issue that these other issues are.”
The Zika epidemic in Brazil has been blamed for an increase in microcephaly — a congenital condition that causes abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development — and other fetal medical conditions.
Legal scholars and at least one judge say the harm is so profound that they’re prepared to challenge Brazil’s restrictive abortion laws — which ban the procedure unless the mother’s life is endangered or the pregnancy is the result of rape.
Medical experts say all children under age 6 in Flint — that’s more than 8,600 kids, based on U.S. Census data — were likely exposed to lead in their drinking water.
There is no safe level of lead in the human body, but the toxic metal’s effects are most severe in the developing brains and nervous systems of young children and fetuses.
The caller accused Rios of “devaluing black life” in dismissing concerns about Flint’s drinking water — but the broadcaster insisted she had no idea whether the city’s residents were mostly black or white.
Rios, who has blamed abortion on “promiscuous white men” and “promiscuous black ones like our president,” frequently warns that Central American migrants are spreading measles and other diseases when they arrive in the U.S.
She also said women who have had abortions become “hard as nails” and “mean and evil and angry.”
Rios was won a variety of awards for her anti-choice and anti-LGBT activism — including the 2005 Henry Hyde Leadership Award, a Pro-Life Action League’s Protector Award, the conservative Eagle Forum’s Excellence Award and Family PAC’s 1999 Conservative of the Year.