Women Are Helping Each Other After They Give Birth. Let’s Get The Feds Involved!

Why does the media always think that the government needs to be involved in the decisions every woman makes? Take this story, from the New York Times last Friday. It’s a fascinating look at an Asian tradition called “confinement.” Sounds scary but it’s the practice of mothers sitting and being pampered in the month after they give birth. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Well, with Asian immigrants who may be separated from their families, they still want to take part in the practice and so some entrepreneurs have figured out that they can provide the service. What’s the problem?

Well, apparently the problem is that the government isn’t regulating every aspect of this business. Check out how the reporter makes the story about the government immediately after she explains the topic. She says that “The centers largely fly below the radar of English-language authorities” and that “city and state authorities did not know they even existed.” She quotes a state Health Department official basically pointing out that they’re not medical services and don’t need to be licensed. Then she points out that officials in California shut down “what they said was a home for women who had come to the United States to give birth so that the children would be American citizens — so-called anchor babies.”

But there’s no evidence in the rest of the story that this is even a consideration for these groups. Everyone quoted says that they haven’t noticed any demographic patterns with their clients. Even the anti-illegal immigration group Center for Immigration Studies says there are no hard numbers on whether women are using these centers for “maternity tourism.” Later still we’re told that no government agencies or immigration advocacy groups track such numbers.

I’m just kind of annoyed with the whole bias cooked into this story — my gosh! Women are working together to help each other out and to continue a nice tradition — let’s stick the authorities on them! Women have been helping each other out in such ways for thousands of years and can probably handle it just fine.

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