Palin knocks breastfeeding initiative
Sarah Palin, who has made a frequent target of First Lady Michelle Obama, poked fun at her attempts to encourage breastfeeding in her Long Island appearance today.
"No wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody 'you'd better breastfeed your baby,'" Palin said, after suggesting that increases in prices for commodities and gasoline since 2009 are the consequence of her husband's policies. "Yeah, you'd better, because the price of milk is so high right now."
Obama supported including breast pumps under a tax exemption that covers medical equipment. Rep. Michele Bachmann has also criticized the push as a feature of the "nanny state."
The perceived dig is quite a turnaround from the position Palin had as governor of Alaska, when she declared October 2007 "Breastfeeding Awareness Month" and issued a proclamation that said, "government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality."
From a 2007 news release (via nexis):
Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, has issued the following proclamation:
WHEREAS, breastfeeding is recognized as an unequalled means of providing food for infants.
WHEREAS, throughout their lives, breastfeeding can offer children protection against serious health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding also saves lives by reducing the incidence of life-threatening cancers in women and preventing premature death in infants.
WHEREAS, breastfeeding forms the most basic bond between mother and baby and is a foundation for lifelong health and wellness.
WHEREAS, government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.
WHEREAS, during October, organizations throughout our state will promote the importance of breastfeeding. This year, in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week - October 1 through October 7 - the State of Alaska will support networks that encourage and promote breastfeeding in all communities.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim October 2007 as:
Breastfeeding Awareness Month