Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is pushing to make the state the first to require universal home visits for newborn children.
If your internal "uh-oh" alarms are not sounding loudly, please check your batteries.
The bill was introduced last month and orders the Oregon Health Authority to "study home visiting by licensed health care providers."
While the complete language hasn't been created, the bill already has 18 sponsors who claim that the bill is "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety," and therefore "an emergency is declared to exist."
Babies going home without government involvement is now an emergency. It's an emergency that parents raising children without the help of the government. Technically, it's called Senate Bill 526 but it's translated to English as "All your babies are belong to us."
Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority, reportedly said, "This isn't something for people in trouble. This is stuff all kids need. Stuff my kids needed."
A local newspaper reported that "when the program is complete, every new parent — this includes adoptions — would receive a series of two or three visits by someone like a nurse or other health care practitioner."
Every new parent.
The visits could include health screenings for babies; setting up appointments with primary care physicians; or childhood immunizations. Obviously, this law can be of great benefit to some. But let's also be honest, this can also be abused. And will be.
So the question is what do they mean by universal? What does Allen by "all kids need." Does it mean mandatory? Does the government have a right to enter my home simply because I have a baby?
And what would happen if this government worker learned that you intend to raise your child to believe that premarital sex or homosexual acts are a sin? Would that put you on a list? Would that land you before a panel which would decide your fitness to parent a child?
For those of you playing at home, the password is "absolutely."
Mind you, Oregon hasn't exactly been the home of tolerance of Christians recently. This is the place that fined and hectored Aaron and Melissa Klein right out of business for the crime of being Christian while baking. The state viciously pursued a 2015 discrimination case against the bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, ruling that the Kleins had discriminated against a lesbian couple by refusing the bake them a wedding cake.
The state ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 to the lesbian couple for the emotional and physical suffering they caused by politely explaining that they couldn't bake a cake celebrating gay marriage. The state essentially fined them out of business. They also posted their names, address and phone number on its Facebook page. Don't think it wasn't on purpose. They received all sorts of death threats, even some people wishing cancer upon their children.
The state doesn't give much room to conscience exemptions. In fact, Oregon is one of 17 states that uses taxpayer money to pay for abortions.
But let's get back to the proposed legislation. Dr. Alanna Braun at Oregon Health and Science University and a member of the Oregon Pediatrics Society, clearly said home visits would not just be evaluating the health of the children in the home, but also the parents. “Having a new baby at home is stressful for everyone, regardless of income,” she said. “It’s a time of life when most anybody needs some help.”
Oregon is no stranger to one-size-fits-all legislation. In 2015, State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a doctor, sponsored a bill to remove all exemptions to childhood vaccines. That effort failed but certainly, the idea of making it compulsory is not without precedent.
It's essentially a political Rorschach test that and if you think "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" is a punchline or a guide to better living. Me? I see this kind of thing as inevitable, scary, and ripe for abuse as anything I can imagine.
To be clear, if you decided to kill your baby in the womb, the government can have nothing to say about it but if you allow the child to live, the government is gonna' be ALL up in your business.