pregnancy, birth & lactation services… at home
I have been filled with anger & grief over the past week about the violence that has been done to Habiba & her daughter, Alma. Here’s the story:
On May 31st 2011, the Minor and Family Institute of Madrid, Spain (IMMF – Instituto Madrileño del Menor y la Familia) decided to separate the child from her mother for not accomplishing the goals their program of psychotherapy and ‘maternal skills’ that involves abandoning extended and on demand breastfeeding, as they consider it to be ‘chaotic and prejudicial for boys and girls’. By these considerations, that lack scientific and legal basis, mothers are forced to take a medication to dry up their milk.
No legal procedure was or has been followed to separate this mother from her daughter, she was not allowed to say goodbye to her daughter and she was not told where they were taking the child, provoking severe helplessness. Habiba was thrown to the streets in the same moment that her daughter was taken, she was told there was no longer place for her as the residence was for mothers and she did not have a daughter anymore.
A humanitarian aid foundation has given her protection, shelter, sustenance and legal aid. We consider the case of Habiba and her daughter to be a severe violation of Human Rights and Children’s Rights. The damage is already done, but if mother and daughter can reunite it can be healed.
Today is the International Day of Action in support of Habiba and Alma. Spanish consulates & embassies all over the world received a similar letter today asking for this breastfeeding couple to be reunited. In this day, that a government agency can kidnap a child for the horrible ‘crime’ of being a loving, responsible and gentle mother is despicable.
The human rights of this family have been violated. Habiba’s and Alma’s bodies have been violated. Their relationship has been violated. And ignorance about breastfeeding and tyranny in petty beuracricies is the cause.
This group- who supposedly exist to help poor, homeless women and their small children- decided to disregard the WHO’s breastfeeding recommendation that ALL children breastfeed until AT LEAST age two. They- who have been given a small amount of power have taken it upon themselves to destroy a family… all because a mother refused to comply with their institutional rules… This action was taken contrary to the findings of psychologists and medical doctors who have found Habiba fit mentally & physically to care for her daughter.
What is happening in the world when children can be kidnapped because the government doesn’t like their parenting decisions (especially when their decisions are in line with the recommendations of every reputable health agency in the world?)
This makes me sick and each and every one of us should be speaking up to make the Spanish government know that we do NOT approve of this kind of human rights violation and that they need to correct this situation immediately.
Here is a list of Spanish consulates & embassies in the U.S. Please consider speaking up. WE ARE ALL HABIBA!!!