(UR) Australia — An Australian judge has ruled that a mother cannot breastfeed her child because she chose to get a tattoo. Judge Matthew Myers’ injunction against the woman comes despite the fact that the mother tested negatively for both hepatitis and HIV — diseases that are sometimes, but rarely, transmitted through tattoo needles. He argues that the mother put her 11-month-old at risk.
Does this set a dangerous precedent that allows governments to decide what is best for our children? Why is the ‘stick’ of a tattoo arguably more dangerous than that of a vaccine? Why does the tattoo prevent a mother from doing one of the most natural and positive things on the planet? And who gave our government a say over deciding which particular needle a mother should succumb to?
Arguably, more women should be breastfeeding, not less, but women are even being verbally berated for breastfeeding in public, though there are countless developmental, as well as physical and emotional, benefits for both the mother and child. One mother was even kicked out of a courtroom for breastfeeding her sick child recently. Has it really come to this?
Does the judgment passed down in Australia mean that women face ever steeper challenges just to give their child nourishment in a way that has been practiced for hundreds of thousands of years? For as long as there have been babies, there have been breastfeeding mothers — so now that women have to contend with public humiliation for breastfeeding, do they have to contend with a Nanny State telling them when they can or can’t feed their child, as well?
Rebecca Naylor, CEO of Australian Breastfeeding Association, said she is very worried about the dangerous example this most recent judgment could possibly set. And she should be, considering how many people have tattoos.
A recent Pew Research Center study revealed that 36 percent of people between the ages of 18-25 and 40 percent of people 26-40 in the U.S. have at least one tattoo. That means almost half of women who are in their prime child-birthing years have tattoos, or might be considering getting one. With this judge’s assessment, it would mean almost half the population should abandon getting a tattoo, on the extremely slim chance that they will contract HIV.
In fact, a quick look at a National Vaccine Injury Compensation table, and you can see that vaccines cause many more problems for pregnant women and children than tattoos ever could. In fact, some reports state that with over 15,000 tattoo parlors actively in business in the U.S. (with similar numbers likely in Australia and other countries), there has not been a single documented case of anyone, mothers included, getting HIV after being tattooed.
Is this a growing trend of government interference in our lives, even in our most intimate, yet mundane, personal activities?
In Minnesota, women may soon have to have a state license in order to offer breastfeeding advice to other women. Currently, lactation consultants are hired by word-of-mouth, usually after proving their expertise in the hard-won arena of real life.
Since when did we need a permission slip from a government to raise, medicate, and, yes, even breastfeed our children? Now even tattoos are being used as an excuse for public health officials to wield excessive control over the public.
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