We should be used to it by now. All through history women have been under attack for one reason or another. We had to fight to vote in our own country. We have to continually fight to have rights over our own bodies. Now we have to fight to keep from being mandatorily tested for HIV. As women first, but also as mothers, we understand very well about protecting children. But from whom? ME?, the mother, the woman who gave life to that child?
We find it offensive to insinuate that women will not do what is best for our children or ourselves. As women and as mothers, we are pretty sensible people. If we are offered all the information needed to protect ourselves and the children WE bare, we will do the right thing! Yet, the general public does not trust women to make the right decisions. You trust us enough to bare children, take care of the children, nurture, train and educate them, but now you don't think we can make medical decisions for ourselves or our children.
We are pleased to have many gay male supporters and advocates who take a strong stance against mandatory testing in any form. What stings the most is that other women who are influenced by their "good old boy" male counterparts are coming out against HIV infected women. Women who have had to struggle in society themselves. Is it the oppressed being the oppressor? Have these women forgotten where they came from?
When you hear people talking about mandatory testing of newborns stop and educate them. Tell them that women are not idiots and we will make the right decision for ourselves and our offspring. When they talk about prevention, it isn't women that they should be targeting. Because in reality they are not preventing anything. They are only identifying infection after the fact. The issue of mandatorily testing babies is just a back door entrance to identifying women who are HIV infected. At least 70% of the babies who test HIV positive at birth will be HIV negative after 18 months. Do we really want to introduce broad spectrum antibiotics and AZT to newborns who are not in fact HIV infected? Fight for your rights! You do have the right to privacy! And we do have the right to make informed decisions about our own healthcare and the care of our children!
What do you think? Write your comments to:
4410 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230