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CNN gives birth to a big, scary baby-snatching boogeywoman

About to have a baby? Don't want it stolen out from under you at the hospital? CNN has some great advice: Just beware of "women," especially those in their 20s or 30s.

Yes, these are the people who "fit the profile" to steal your baby. You won't have any trouble keeping your eye on all of them, will you? And they may be dressed like a nurse, CNN adds, so certainly don't trust anyone who looks as if she belongs at the hospital. After all, she could be a baby snatcher. And how likely are baby snatchers to strike?

Well, um, last year, one baby was stolen from a hospital.

Agggghhh!

That was a strangled scream of frustration with the scaring-means-caring media — frustration with a TV station that would go on-air with all sorts of warnings about how to keep your baby safe and then print a 1,500-word piece on "How to guard against baby snatchers" — as if we have to be on guard!

As if there aren't about 4 million American babies born annually and, of these, one was taken. Yes, I am very familiar with the argument that "even one is too many," but what about the argument that 4 million new moms being told never to trust anyone anywhere near their babies are too many? Four million new moms being told: Your child is in danger every minute. You cannot take your eyes off him for a single second. Everyone is out to get your precious bundle. Or, as a subhead in the article says, "Know who wants to steal your baby."

Like, "Know your local pharmacist" or "Know your city councilors." As if your local baby stealers are just another group of people to get to know.

The problem is that this paranoia follows the moms home. Don't put an "It's a girl!" sign on your lawn, a Florida hospital warned my friend; predators will come a-calling. And don't send out birth announcements; predators will come a-calling.

This predator obsession takes hold, and years later we see those kids inside — staring at a screen, scarfing Skittles — because they're not allowed to go outside and play; their parents are too afraid of predators.

So thanks, CNN and all the other media, for blowing baby snatching completely out of proportion. Look what you've given birth to.

© 2011 Creators Syndicate

CNN gives birth to a big, scary baby-snatching boogeywoman 01/29/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:17pm]
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