The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

'Healthcare' or Family Intervention?: Low-Income Mothers Singled Out for Home Visits


Mink is co-editor of the two-volume Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy and author of Welfare's End. She has been following various aspects of healthcare reform legislation.

She said today: "The House bill includes a section calling for home visits by nurses to poor pregnant families and poor families with young children -- to provide behavioral and interpersonal guidance for self-improvement. This provision is NOT about the delivery of medical services. As the bill states, one goal of home visits by nurses is to make the poor economically 'self-sufficient' and less 'dependent' on public assistance.

"In addition to providing for social, personal, and family interventions by visiting nurses, the provision calls for 'increasing birth intervals' in low-income families -- fertility control. Why is a healthcare bill providing for subjective social intervention into low-income families? The new abortion funding restriction impairs the right of all women to terminate pregnancies. Section 1713 encroaches the right of low-income women to choose to bear children on their own terms." The relevant sections are available in PDF at Mink's webpage .

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.