Women have made progress in controlling their own bodies over the past few decades. Hey, it was nice while it lasted.
So far, July has been no day at the beach for women. First, the United States stunned attendees at the World Health Assembly by opposing a breast-feeding resolution saying mother’s milk is healthiest for children, while pushing the interests of infant formula manufacturers.
When the measure to “protect, promote and support” breast-feeding was about to be introduced by Ecuador, the United States threatened to impose punishing trade measures on the South American nation until it dropped the resolution. Was Ecuador suddenly concerned about the welfare of poor formula manufacturers? I think not.
“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health,” Patti Rundall, policy director for the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, told The New York Times.
But come on, what’s more important — the health of babies and mothers, or campaign contributions? Some women can’t breast-feed, but this was overkill by U.S. officials. Drain the swamp — right into babies’ mouths. Talk about boobs!
On the heels of that fiasco, President Donald Trump nominated conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If he’s approved, women’s rights to a safe abortion may go the way of the hula hoop. While campaigning in 2016, Trump promised that abortion rights case Roe v. Wade would “automatically” be overturned if he’s elected.
When swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, “Students for Life” president Kristan Hawkins told NPR this was “a day we’ve been waiting for.” The group’s goal has been “to make abortion illegal and unthinkable.”
But Ms. Hawkins, pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion. For example, China isn’t pro-choice. If you get pregnant after having two children in China, they can force you to have an abortion. On the other end of the spectrum, such nations as El Salvador ban it completely. Neither are what Americans would consider bastions of freedom.
Frowning on breast-feeding. Reversing Roe v. Wade. Back to the 1950s we go.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.