Every day, new laws are passed, adding to the thousands already well into effect in our daily lives. They are of course for our “safety and well-being.” After all, the government knows best! We as people surely can’t make decisions for ourselves. Americans cannot be trusted to look out for their own best interests, make well-informed decisions, or even be trusted to read a label. So
our nanny the government must guide us in the proper direction by telling us what we must do for our own good.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was a very smart man. He knew that people who are foolish enough to sit back and let someone decide for them what is safe and what isn’t, giving up their right to live in the meantime, deserve neither the freedom they are losing nor the right to be safe.
Our freedom and rights have been on my mind a lot lately, mostly because I am pregnant again with baby number seven, and we birth our babies at home. There are plenty of reasons why this way is best for us, but one main factor is this: to keep the government and their noses far, far away from our family.
There is only one problem with this. Even in the realm of birth and pregnancy, the government and their laws have taken away a woman’s right to choose practically anything. And after the birth of our fourth baby, our opinion of government meddling came to life in a whole new light.
After certain complications, our son was born by Caesarean. After the birth, the problems started when we refused vaccinations, standard and unnecessary tests, and a Vitamin K shot, all of which were legal to pass on if we signed a waiver. Hours after we had filled out the paperwork to dismiss these routine procedures, the on-call pediatrician walked into our room as we snuggled our newborn son. He had turned us into children’s services, due to fears of parental neglect. After all, we didn’t get the standard Vitamin K shot — who knew if we would actually take care of our son and other children if a medical situation arose? For two straight days we battled with children’s services and government workers, being interrogated, questioned about how we treated our children,what we would do if they became ill or hurt, and dozens of other questions about our competence and ability to care for them. When the day came to go home, the doctors released me, but children’s services refused to turn over our baby. After all, they considered him “their” child, not ours. After hours of waiting they finally “allowed” us to take our son home, albeit with a red flag on our record.
What ever happened to the fact that it is my body, my birth, and my baby? If at any time I need legitimate intervention and help then I am perfectly capable of getting it for myself; I don’t need government busybodies dictating to me. Why must my decisions be forced upon me by what someone else feels is the cookie-cutter safe way that I must conform to? I want nothing more than to protect my family — but how can I protect them from the government when they come in and plow you over? How do you fight them?
Year after year, the laws and regulations passed slowly strip away our freedom and choice. And they become more and more absurd as well, just like the recent SWAT team raids on raw milk farms across the US. But according to Nicole Neeser, program manager for dairy, meat, and poultry inspection at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, that’s not at all what they are doing. “This is not about restricting the public’s rights. This is about making sure people are safe.”
Because if that were the case, why can you easily buy cigarettes or alcohol in retail outlets across the United States, when the annual deaths caused by these products is a documented fact? People know the risks, and they choose to buy them anyway, taking their own responsibility. If it was really about safety, how come the police aren’t raiding the tobacco plants? If it is about safety, how come there weren’t SWAT teams showing up to raid the factory farms that recently produced all of the salmonella-tainted eggs, or all the meat with listeria? Where was the government then?
Federal agents watched the home closely for a year, gathering evidence. Then, in a pre-dawn raid, armed members from three agencies swooped in.
No, this is not a retelling of the lightning U.S. commando attack in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Rather, the target of the raid late last month by U.S. marshals, a state police trooper and inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was Amish farmer Dan Allgyer of Kinzers, Pa. His so-called “crime” involved nothing more than providing unpasteurized, or raw, dairy milk to eager consumers here in the Washington area. (Washington Times)
Is it really necessary for dozens of armed SWAT team troops to barge in, guns drawn, on an Amish man, whose biggest threat was that he sold his milk straight from the cow?
This isn’t about safety. The risk is minimal, and the benefits of raw milk outweigh them. Besides, people know the risks, and do it anyway. Just like people choose to smoke cigarettes. Yet, with tobacco, a warning label seems to suffice, not an all-out government raid with millions of dollars in fines, court fees, and jail time. No, it’s not about safety. It’s about control.
Just recently, the FDA seized elderberry juice from a winery in Kansas. The reasoning? The winery mentioned the benefits of elderberries to a person’s health. But according to the FDA, if a natural product does that, they are violating the law, and the FDA can come in and seize their entire inventory to “protect the public.” The government argues that the juice is an unapproved drug because the winery claims it is used to treat diseases such as the flu, and even cancer. ”Products with unapproved disease claims are dangerous because they may cause consumers to delay or avoid legitimate treatments,” Dara Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, said in a news release. “The FDA is committed to protecting consumers from unapproved products on the market.” The FDA believes they are the only ones that can define “legitimate treatments,” and they are reserved for pharmaceutical companies. Not anyone else who has studied it. Just them. So one might ask, who is really being protected here? Would anyone really be harmed by drinking elderberry juice? Would someone forgo other treatments even if they thought the juice might improve their health?
You see, the government does not like losing its power. Giving its citizens rights and choice on a small scale that they can’t dominate? Why, that would mean they would not have absolute rule. It is the same situation in hundreds of areas. Where the government can’t have complete say, they do their best to stifle and oppress.
Take homeschooling for another example. According to an HSLDA article on Crosswalk, the HSLDA receive an average of sixty-eight calls per month from homeschooling families facing social service investigations. Their crimes? Usually nothing more then a disgruntled school official or nosy neighbor making an anonymous tip.
In the March/April issue of The Homeschool Court Report, Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reported about the Richard and Margie Cressy family from New York. In late 2009, New York social services charged the parents with child endangerment and arrested them. What had they done? Although they thought they had done so, Mr. and Mrs. Cressy had failed to completely fulfill the arcane and draconian registration and reporting requirements demanded of homeschoolers in New York.
If you watch statistics and patterns, it is obvious that social workers seek out and give much harsher treatment to homeschoolers, just because they aren’t going along with the other sheep of America. To quote one social worker an acquaintance dealt with years ago: ”Those homeschoolers are dangerous! They teach their children how to be think contrary to what we want, and those kinds of ideas can be a threat to the future.”
Now the question is: Whose future is she talking about?
Answer: The Government’s agenda.
Turning back to focus on birth, it is another place where the government has found its meddling fingers in a place where it has no business. Do you want to have a natural birth at a hospital, but go two weeks overdue? Better make sure your doctor doesn’t recommend a Caesarean, because you might just find police officers knocking at your door with a court order to cut you open.
Want to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)? Good luck, since many hospitals and states have a ban against it under certain circumstances.
Would you love to have a home birth? Dozens of states have outlawed and arrested midwives, all because they think it is not in a woman’s best interest.
Even a hospital birth must be fought over, tooth and nail, just to achieve an appearance of what you want, all for the sake of state and federal laws, including mandates of pregnancy testing, birth procedures, and post-partum/newborn care. You aren’t allowed that choice, because according to them, it’s not in the baby’s best interest — yet of course, if you want to kill that same baby at fifteen weeks gestation, go right ahead, and the government will even pay for it!
Barbara Harper, founder of Waterbirth International, has recently been battling the all-powerful FDA, in a large and threatening situation:
The FDA has seized all the portable birth pools that are currently imported and are threatening to destroy them. They claim they are unregistered medical equipment, but they are not providing a way or means to get them registered. The FDA claims that ANYTHING that is used by a pregnant woman should be regulated for her protection. I can quote what I was told by an FDA official – “Pregnancy is an illness and birth is a medical event. Therefore, a pool that a woman gives birth in should be classified as medical equipment.” The only classification that Birth Pool in a Box was able to obtain was, “sitz bath” because that is the only classification that was available.
And now, the FDA, is not recognizing that classification and that is why they have seized the current stock and put a pad lock on the container of AquaBorn pools that is on the dock in Portland, Oregon. They sent out agents to inspect and destroy. The FDA is in virtual control over the current stock of birth pools in the US. This is an undeniable truth. Marla Althouse of Waterbirthsolutions.com has been consulting with an FDA expert attorney on the case ever since she received her first notice of non-compliance. There is a current deadline of June 7th for a ruling in the case. At that point, the choices may be to recall all birth pool stock and re-export or destroy. Because of the Facebook notice, she has been put in touch with experts in Customs, FDA compliance and import rules and regulations. Thank you all for your amazing support and your justifiable outrage that our birth choices can be regulated and controlled by a government agency.
Waterbirth International is a privately held LLC, based in Broward County, Florida, whose mission is to insure that water-birth remain an available option for all women. The best way of achieving that goal is through education and public awareness. The use of water as an option, a choice, a way of receiving comfort in labor, has always been for me, a platform upon which I stand to have a conversation about birth – all aspects of birth. I don’t really care what pool one uses, or where that birth happens, as long as the birth AND the baby are respected. Let’s use this current confrontation to our best advantage and form a united movement to insure that water-birth, midwifery, home birth, and undisturbed birth in ANY setting by any provider remain options for all women, all babies and all families throughout the US.
Isn’t that what our founding fathers fought for? Our right to have choice, and undeniable freedom?
The FDA “approves” of aspartame and other toxic chemicals in food and body products, but a birthing pool is considered dangerous unless it is labeled medical grade equipment for pregnant women. But let that same woman load up on all the FDA-approved high-fructose corn syrup she wants! ACOG is against VBAC due to “safety,” but they are quick to support FDA-approved cervidel in birth, a drug that has been proven to cause uterine ruptures and deaths in both mother and baby over and over again.
Sure, they care about our “well-being.”
Years ago, a local midwife we know — a soft-spoken, 60+ year old, Mennonite woman, who has delivered over 2,000 babies here — was arrested and served six months in jail. Her crime? Since she mainly cares for the Amish in her area, a well-meaning doctor had provided her with single doses of pitocin to administer in life-threatening situations when a hospital drive might be too far away for safety. Because it is considered a medical drug, albeit safe for such a situation and the same thing the hospital would administer in such a case, it is illegal for midwives to give, for no other reason than that officials said so. One evening, after a delivery for one of her patients, a fearsome thing happened: the new mother started hemorrhaging heavily, to the point where the paramedics would not have made it. In her trained eye, this old saint gave a single shot of pitocin to slow the bleeding enough until the medical team arrived. Knowing that she was incriminating herself, but putting the mother’s safety first, she told the medics what she had done. Later, the family was extremely grateful because she saved this woman’s life and the family’s future. The doctors, paramedics, and hospital staff all stated this young mom would have died without the injection of pitocin from the midwife. But it was illegal. So the government threw the book at her, to make an example. Later at another trial during her sentence, the judge threatened to give her more time if she didn’t provide the name of the source who gave her the pitocin. She stated “I am a Mennonite. My religious beliefs prevent me from purposely bringing harm to others.” The courts gave her two extra months in jail.
What has this country come to? We arrest little, old Mennonite women for saving a mother’s life? We allow an Amish man to be threatened at gunpoint all over the kind of milk our ancestors lived on for thousands of years? Rain barrels are considered illegal, and people are fined for collecting water in a bucket that falls from the sky?
Thousands of cases never make the news. Yet at the same time, no one blinks an eye as illegal aliens rack up social security and welfare that we pay for with our taxes. We turn away to ignore the crimes that are watered down by gangs and child molesters. Everyone thinks it’s totally acceptable for our twelve-year-olds to be given birth control at school, and to be taken secretly to have abortions by school nurses — yet those “dangerous” homeschool parents are the ones who everyone should keep a close eye on.
The issue at stake here is this: as our rights for our own families and daily lives get ripped away piece by piece, the sheeple of America sleep. No one knows. No one tells. And many who do know don’t care. That is, until the day it starts to affect them — which, at this rate, will be very soon.
It reminds me of a story from many years ago, when a missionary was smuggling Bibles into a country that had outlawed them. This young man was arrested and thrown in a rat-filled prison with treatment you can only imagine in nightmares. And American Christians actually scolded him: “He shouldn’t have smuggled those Bibles. He was breaking the law of that country, so he deserved the punishment.” Yes, those are the same Christians who will turn against an Amish man for selling raw milk or the family who is growing their own backyard garden, because the “law” forbids it.
Yes, we can rebel, and still go on doing these things without the government’s approval. But the idea is not merely, “How do we get around this?” The real point here is, “How dare they?!” How dare they step on our rights? How dare they control us with tyranny? We are not subject to them, so why are we letting them rule everything in our life, our families, our children, our homes, and even our own bodies?
There is only one solution to this all: Be informed. Spread the word. And do not back down. We must fight for our God-given rights. If we want to pass down a heritage to our children, now is not the time to hide our heads in the sand. The more we ignore the little things such as the raw milk raids, and birth-pool seizures, the more the government will take from us. They are just testing the waters to see how much the people will allow. And I can tell you from experience, they aren’t seeing much resistance. People are even bending over backwards to accommodate them, and voluntarily giving away their freedom! I don’t know about you, but I do not want to show my children that our generation was a group of cowards. I do not want to make their fight for freedom and pursuit of happiness all the more difficult, because we allowed the government to trample our rights.
And I will do my part to take back what belongs to us, and change the tide one step at a time. Even with something as simple as the birth of a baby.