Wow, breastfeeding moms are not getting much respect these days. First, "Real Housewives of New York" star Bethenny Frankel all but tells nursing moms to hide in a corner, and now House Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) sounds off on a popular radio show about the recent IRS decision to include breast pumps as tax deductible expenses.
Bachmann spoke on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, claiming that the new IRS ruling (that makes breast pumps tax deductible) constituted a “nanny state” and that it was part of first lady Michelle Obama's “hard left agenda."
“I think this is very consistent with where the hard left is coming from. For them government is the answer to every problem. Clearly they are wrong because more spending won’t do it,” said Bachmann. “I’ve given birth to five babies and I breastfed every single one of these babies. To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. You wanna talk about the nanny state? I think we just got the new definition of a nanny," she continued.
Um, excuse me? There are so many things wrong with Bachmann's statements that I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with the fact that making breast pumps tax deductible in no way constitutes asking the government to buy your breast pump. Instead it offers breastfeeding women an modest break on a piece of expensive that they may need to buy to continue nursing. More often than not, breast pumps are purchased by working women who are trying to get back on the job after having a baby. How could anyone — let alone another working woman — fault them for that?
Then there's the fact tht Bachmann is lashing out at Michelle Obama for supporting the IRS changes and breastfeeding in general. Obama has been working to support breastfeeding, particularly in black communities as part of her Let's Move campaign to prevent childhood obesity. "We’re working to promote breastfeeding, especially in the black community, where 40 per cent of our babies never get breastfed at all, even in the first weeks of life, and we know that babies that are breastfed are less likely to be obese as children.”
Again, I find it hard to understand how Bachmann — a mom of five who breastfed each of her babies — could have a problem with an initiative that supports breastfeeding.
Hard left agenda? I don't know about that. If Bachmann was looking to distance herself from breastfeeding moms, she certainly accomplished her goal.