Reporting on the Thoughts of the Nation Towards Nicholas Kristof’s Article

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The author, Nicholas Kristof wrote,“If Americans Love Mothers, Why Do They Let Them Die?” Throughout the article Kristof  persuades his readers that Americans lie about loving their mothers.  The New York Times article contained a total of 436 comments provided by the public, in which they expressed their opinions on the article. The commenters believe that, in regards to maternal mortality, American’s must become more empathic towards women to begin decreasing rates of this tragic healthcare issue.



Many tactics were discussed by the commenters on how to address maternal mortality; none more widely discussed than sexual education. Such services, they believed, should be provided for all young adults in order to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. According to the commenter laMissy, one of the problems within our society is that “women receive the message that sex is wrong” and that they should guard their virginity. Many women have been brainwashed with this idea causing them to avoid taking any precautions against unwanted pregnancies. Women who are taught that sex is wrong only receive the abstinence sex education.“Abstinence. It just ain’t working,” according to David B. He states that although many women are taught this idea of abstinence there are still a great number of teenagers becoming pregnant. He feels that tax money should be spent on educating teens about sex. The commenter Bellinghamster also agrees that sex education should be provided for all teens. “Boys and girls are going to have sex,” so why not educate them ahead of time in order help them avoid risks. Educating teens on sex will help them make educated decisions on whether or not to have sex and how to do so safely. It is important that no matter what beliefs one may have, sex educations is important for every individual to receive in order to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.



Many commenters agreed that many Americans do not feel responsible for helping women within their own country. The commenter, Mrs Pea states that many Americans within our society do not think that they should be obligated to help women. Americans believe that they are not obligated to help save the lives of women nor should they provide prenatal care for them. In fact they do not feel that they have a “responsibility to help women and girls get access to contraceptives.” Mrs Pea mentions that many times Medicare births do not receive empathy because our society does not care about poor women dying.  Many other commenters like Mrs. Pea believe that oftentimes society views that healthcare is a privilege to be earned not one to be given away freely. Society does not sympathize with poor women who become pregnant because they believe that it’s their fault for not being responsible. When it comes to viewing who deserves to have healthcare there is always a division between the less and more fortunate. Americans often times only think about themselves and what benefits them, if it doesn’t affect them they have no interest in it.  The commenter LarryGr states, “Until societal ethos change regarding personal responsibility, ethics and morality the government can do nothing to alleviate problems surrounding unwanted pregnancies.” He feels that the government is not responsible for unwanted pregnancies because women should be responsible for their own decisions.



A major problem within our society according to commenters is that our own politicians influence our ideas of motherhood. The commenter Henry states, “That blinds most of us…to the fact that women, for all their ability to bear children, need to be able to receive medical care during pregnancy… because they’re are very real risks involved in child bearing,” portraying the idea that politicians romanticize motherhood. Many commenters like Hen3ry agree that our society has this idea that motherhood completes a women, but fail to realize that with motherhood come true responsibilities and risks. According to Deborah Weinstein, our own political leaders do not respect women. She states that our own president talks about women as objects “ physically handled as opposed to treating women as human,” which devalues women within our society. As a society we need to learn to value women and most importantly value motherhood, in order to avoid maternal deaths.



Not only have politicians romanticized motherhood, but the idea of Pro-Life expressed within Republicans is not correctly identified according to commenters. Sally, a commenter presents the idea that anti-abortion republicans are not identified correctly because they are actually pro-fetus. “They clearly do not care about any life outside the womb,” (Sally).  Republicans who claim to be pro-life do not support birth control, nor do they want to pay prenatal care. “They don’t want to pay for the ongoing health care of women who are caring for the children they seem to want us to have so badly (i.e. the pro-life movement),” (Karen) proposes a conflicting idea that may only make maternal deaths increase. If Republicans claim to be Pro-Life they should support health care and food assistance programs like WIC that provide food assistance for families that have babies and that are low income. Everyone deserves to have access to healthcare.



I believe that healthcare is a right, everyone should have access to it. Everyone should be provided with healthcare- whether young or old, pregnant or not, poor or rich, everyone deserves to receive medical care. I believe that providing sex education for young individuals of all beliefs is an important factor that will ultimately help many young women avoid risks and succeed. Access to birth control will contribute towards preventing unwanted pregnancies. I also believe that although Kristof mentioned good factors that may help reduce pregnancies, we need to look at the issue of maternal mortality with a bigger perspective. We will not solve the issue of maternal deaths with just focusing on how to prevent pregnancies. Maternal deaths occur within all mothers, even in the ones that want to give birth. As a society we should recognize that our own people are dying because we are selfish and ignorant. It is important for us as a society to take action and contribute towards reducing maternal deaths within in our country through the simple act of educating others and providing health care.





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