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Michelle v. Michele: The Breastfeeding Battle Michelle v. Michele: The Breastfeeding Battle

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White House / WHITE HOUSE

Michelle v. Michele: The Breastfeeding Battle

The first lady wants a nanny state. Or so Michele Bachmann says.

Rep. Michele Bachmann wants Michelle Obama to keep her hands off America's breast pumps. The first lady has promoted breastfeeding. The IRS is now offering a tax break for breastfeeding supplies.

photo of Rebecca Kaplan
February 15, 2011

Michelle Obama has found herself the target of criticism from yet another high-profile conservative woman who says that the first lady's initiatives promote a “nanny state."

Reports surfaced this week that Obama will highlight breastfeeding as a path to reducing childhood obesity and will try to remove barriers for women who choose that method of feeding their infant. The Internal Revenue Service helped the cause when it announced last week that it would offer a tax break on breastfeeding supplies, though it is unclear whether Obama has encouraged women to take advantage of the tax breaks.

But that didn’t stop Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., from firing away at the first lady on Tuesday afternoon on conservative host Laura Ingraham’s radio show. "I've given birth to five babies, and I breast-fed every single one," Bachmann said. "To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies? You wanna talk about the nanny state?” 

 

It’s not the first time that Obama has been criticized for her promotion of healthier eating and living. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told viewers of her television show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, that she was eating s’mores in honor of the first lady – who has said she tells her own children that “dessert is not a right” – and had delivered cookies to a school in Pennsylvania. Palin also said that the government was acting like a nanny state in trying to limit the availability of sweets to children.

 

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