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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2006 / 25 Sivan, 5766

Sue the bums — I mean the mothers

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | First they came for the workplace, then for people's homes and cars, and then the great outdoors.

Now the anti-tobacco jihadists, having helped ban smoking in most public and many private places, have turned their attention to the most private space of all — the womb.

That very personal place where humans incubate could be the next battlefield between smokers and those who have never uttered the words: "It's none of my beeswax."

This latest brainstorm comes from Arkansas, where Rep. Bob Mathis successfully shepherded legislation making it unlawful to smoke in cars in which small children are passengers.

Apparently not satisfied with saving the recently born, Mathis wondered whether it would be constitutional to prohibit mothers from smoking while pregnant. Studies show, after all, that fetuses are at risk for low birth weight if their mothers smoke while pregnant.

No, wait, this just in: A new study in Australia shows that women who smoke while pregnant may cause their children to become obese. In a University of Queensland study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that smoking mothers' children were 30 percent more likely to be overweight.

Underweight, overweight, oh-whatever. Both are bad, both involve tobacco, and that's enough for John Banzhaf, the heavyweight George Washington University law professor who for years has led the anti-smoking brigade.

More recently, he's best known for leading the charge against fast-food restaurants that serve fat-laden foods to unsuspecting, um, fat people — otherwise known as people who eat too much and wouldn't read a nutritional label if it had a cherry on top.

Banzhaf likes to sue people, in other words, and he's been enormously successful. Which is to say, pregnant smokers, beware.

Already Banzhaf is setting his sights on fetal rights related to their smoking mums. While it is legally defensible to abort a fetus up until moments before birth, it is apparently inconceivable that a woman would expose her unborn child to the harmful effects of smoking.


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While you're struggling to wrap your mind around that nonsensical nugget, Banzhaf is already issuing press releases. In a recent one from the organization he heads, Action on Smoking and Health, Banzhaf predicts that prohibiting smoking by pregnant women would pass constitutional muster.

"Since court after court has held that smoking is not a fundamental right like voting, and that smokers are not a protected class like African-Americans or women, the government has wide leeway in fashioning a remedy for whatever it concludes is a problem requiring corrective action."

Now there's a thought to warm a Taliban heart.

Certainly life offers enough problems to keep government regulators and litigators indefinitely occupied, but one has to ask: Are smoking mothers worthy of our censure? What about pregnant women who drink? Or who refuse to take their vitamins? Or who listen to hip-hop when studies show that Bach makes you smarter?

"Sorry lady, but you're under arrest for dereliction of maternity duty."

These are silly examples, of course, but no sillier than trying to legislate behavior that is, indeed, no one else's business. We of a certain generation, meanwhile, recall fondly the sight of our mothers sipping martinis and smoking Salems while large with our soon-to-be sibling.

We should all be dead by now given the amount of secondhand smoke we inhaled. Not to mention the gin-drenched olives we slurped when backs were turned. As a bonus sidebar to these reminiscences, the term "bike helmet" was a non sequitur.

No one's suggesting that pregnant women should smoke, or drink, or pole-dance — or whatever tempts the masses these days. But people have a right to be stupid, to make bad decisions, to marry the wrong guy, to eat the wrong foods and, alas, to elect the wrong people to public office.

Speaking of which, because of Arkansas' term limits, Mathis won't be able to pursue his idea of criminalizing pregnant smokers. And Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whom Banzhaf has credited with endorsing the concept of banning smoking while pregnant, says he has been misrepresented. When reporters asked what he thought about the idea, Huckabee said he hadn't examined the legal aspects, but that from a health standpoint, "Heck, yeah, it makes sense."

Clarifying that statement Tuesday, Huckabee told me he would prefer to let common sense, rather than legislation, guide expectant mothers away from tobacco.

In a final bit of irony, the move to prohibit smoking while pregnant would seem to lend strength to the argument that a fetus is a human being entitled to all the rights and privileges accorded personhood.

Instead, it merely strengthens the case that government has no business regulating a woman's womb. Or any other body part.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


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