It has nothing to do with the political party he belongs to (unless you think one party is more likely to do this kind of thing than another). When I decided to become a mother, I did what I always do: I researched everything about it. I learned, among other things, the importance of breastfeeding. Then I did what I always do when I acquire profound knowledge: I shared it, and became an activist. In this case, a lactivist. As a lactivist, I discovered that one of the practices that negatively affects breastfeeding rates is the marketing of formula in hospital labor and delivery units. I was deeply interested when lactivists in Massachusetts attempted to put an end to this unethical practice in their state. I followed their struggle to Ban “the Bag.” I joined in the cheering with lactivists across the country when victory was won – the campaign was successful! The state health council determined that the practice should end. Then I joined in the dismay when Governor Romney stepped in and fired the members of the council who had voted to end the practice. His action forced the state to allow it. Less than two weeks later, it was revealed that he had made a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb, the largest manufacturer of formula in the world, that involved the building of a $66 million plant in Massachusetts. He had a clear choice between the health of children and mothers, and the profits of a pharmaceutical and formula corporation. He chose the latter. Even if breastfeeding isn’t your issue, this shows the kind of person he is.
This is very personal to me. I was born in a Massachusetts hospital in 1975. My mother wanted to breastfeed me. The hospital staff was not supportive of her, to put it mildly. In fact, they seemed to make it their mission in life to sabotage her efforts to breastfeed me. The fact that steps were still being taken to undermine support for breastfeeding mothers in Massachusetts maternity wards over 30 years later caused me pain. When Romney ran for President in 2008, I became alarmed. When he dropped out of the primaries, I let out a sigh of relief. Now, four years later, he’s back. He is the Republican nominee for President. He is closer to the Oval Office than ever. And I am in a panic. We must not allow a person with his record as an executive to become the highest executive in the land.
Children who are not breastfed are at higher risk of SIDS, diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, obesity, high cholesterol, asthma, and a slew of other diseases. Mothers who do not breastfeed are at higher risk of breast cancer and other conditions. If you think the health of children and mothers is more important than the profits of a corporation whose method of growing its business is, let’s face it, to try to get mothers not to breastfeed (or stop breastfeeding, or breastfeed less), please share this post with all your friends.
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Keep Romney out of the White House! If you think that the health of children and mothers is more important than corporate profits, please share this post!