Week 5 Day 1 Discussion Question 2

Pollitt declares, “The threat to newborns is interesting when and only when it can, accurately or fancifully, be laid at women’s doorstep” (297). According to Pollitt, where else might the threat to such newborns (and other children) lie?  Do you agree or disagree with her statement?

One thought on “Week 5 Day 1 Discussion Question 2

  • March 8, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    According to Pollitt, the threat posed to newborns and other children does not only come from a mother/woman but in many cases often – if not more – comes from the father/men and society at large. The case of Adam Dorris and his mother is a great example of this. Michael Dorris, Adam’s adopted father, places heavy blame and expresses contempt for Adam’s biological mother as the sole reason for his FAS and severe autism. Adam’s biological mother is a Native American woman living on an Indian reservation plagued with alcoholism. Rather than Michael Dorris acknowledging the many issues that trouble Indian Reservations – poverty, domestic abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, etc. – as contributing factors to Adam’s biological mother’s alcoholism, he places the sole blame on her. However, Pollitt points out that Adam’s biological mom committed suicide by drinking antifreeze 2 years after he was born. Michael Dorris blames Native American women for having so many children that they can’t care for and posits that this is due to the women trying to get more government welfare money. He ignores the facts that often these women become pregnant due to rape and sexual abuse and that they’re unable to get abortions even if they can afford it because the Bureau of Indian Affairs hospitals are prohibited from performing abortions by law.

    I agree with Pollitt’s statement that more of the responsibility needs to be shared between mothers and fathers and also society at large for threats that are posed to newborns. Many of the cases proposed at the beginning of Pollitt’s chapter shows instances of other actors needing to be held responsible such as Pamela Rae Stewart’s who was beaten by her husband and whose husband also ignored advice from the doctor.

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