Once again, policy makers are dedicating themselves to making laws to mess with the reproductive lives of poor women of color. In the most recent iteration, a little known provision tucked into the congressional health care bill would require mothers receiving Medicaid to accept home visits from state employed nurses. As leading scholars Gwendolyn Mink and Dorothy Roberts explain over at Stop Family Violence, the provisions are not intended to make people healthier: Mink and Roberts write:
While the latest clash over health care reform has focused on abortion funding, no attention has been paid to shocking fertility control and family control provisions contained in current health care legislation…These statutory devices and impositions should sound familiar to anyone aware of the 1996 welfare reform law. It too pivoted on the idea that regulating poor women’s reproduction would end their need for welfare."
This isn’t anything new for the poor and women of color. And yet it is wrong every time. Mink and Robert’s article includes a link to a petition so you can tell your representative that you want them to stand up to these unjust provisions.