Amidst a Nationwide Formula Shortage, a Reminder: The Decision To Breastfeed Is Personal

As the nationwide formula shortage gained more news coverage, social media outlets like Twitter started buzzing—not with compassion for these scared parents, but rather judgment that these mothers hadn’t breastfed and were therefore at fault for their current predicament.

(Of course, the irony of the formula shortage happening at the same time that the Supreme Court is poised to force American women to carry unwanted pregnancies is also not lost on many.)

The Supreme Mom Guilt Is Real: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and Motherhood

During her historic confirmation hearings, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson saved a “special moment” to address her two daughters directly: “Girls, I know it has not been easy as I have tried to navigate the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood. And I fully admit that I did not always get the balance right.”

Imagine being at the pinnacle of your career, writing a speech that would be heard by millions—but, at the same time, apologizing to your daughters, for whom you wished you’d done more. Like many other working moms, I could imagine just that. But, in many ways, what Jackson was expressing is unique to Black women.

Apparently We Don’t Need Abortion Because of Adoption … “or Whatever”

In Dobbs v. Jackson, Amy Coney Barrett said the right to an abortion is unnecessary because of safe haven laws. This argument ignores the fact that pregnancy itself has profound impacts on a woman’s life and comes with many risks, especially in a state like Mississippi with an exceptionally high maternal mortality rate.

To suggest that adoption is a simple or equivalent alternative to abortion is shocking. To have that suggestion come from a mother of seven children, who has both been pregnant and been through the process of adoption, is dangerous.

For many children, even if eventually adopted, some time will be spent in foster care. And foster care is not always a safe haven.

Britney Spears and the Right to Reproductive Justice: Regulation and Conservatorship in the Child Welfare System

The similarity between Britney Spears’s limitations in decision-making regarding her reproductive decisions and the regulation of the child welfare system on poor, disabled, minority parents is clear. Their individual rights to choice and privacy are erased and structural limitations imposed on them.

Spears’s fame has brought attention to a major issue—but the same energy needs to remain for everyone fighting for their freedom within a system actively working against them.