Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Fertility Control Provisions in the House Health Care Bill
Stop Family Violence.org: Beyond Stupak - The Shocking Fertility Control Provisions in Health Care Reform Legislation by, Gwendolyn Mink and Dorothy Roberts (Northwestern Law):
The House health care bill (H.R. 3962), contains a provision affecting Medicaid recipients who are pregnant for the first time or who have a child under two years of age. Section 1713 allows States to use Medicaid funds for non-medical home visits by nurses to advance certain goals affecting reproductive decisions and family life. The goals include: "increasing birth intervals between pregnancies," "reducing maternal and child involvement in the criminal justice system," "increasing economic self-sufficiency," and "reducing dependence on public assistance."
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These goals of the home visitation program have nothing to do with providing health care. Instead, they are based on the false premise that poor mothers’ childbearing is to blame for social problems. The proposed visitation program is eugenicist, deceptive, discriminatory against low-income women, and utterly inappropriate to the medical work of nurses.
Under the program envisioned in the House bill, government-sponsored medical professionals are charged with exhorting fertility control among poor women, based on the mistaken premise that reproduction among the poor leads to crime, neglect, low educational attainment, and dependency. Yet according to the government's own statistics, families receiving welfare have, on average, only 1.8 children; half the families receiving welfare have only one child, and only one in ten have more than three children.