You want to know, what?If you've been checking out your own certificate of live birth lately (at least that's what I have in my files, which obviously means my parents are hiding something) for fear that someone, somewhere is going to be asking you to prove your American citizenship, you are simply thinking ahead. But let's hope you don't try to run for President of America if you were born in Louisiana, because they have some wacky rules about letting a woman have her baby's birth certificate.
Like in the case of this one lady, who wasn't allowed to receive her baby's birth certificate because she refused to answer some of the hospital's incredibly personal questions. Like, have you ever had an abortion?
A hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana held a baby's birth certificate hostage, until the mother answered questions that included the abortion issue, whether or not she had consumed drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, and others. The new mom rightly said, "That's none of your business," and the hospital refused to relinquish her newborn's proof of being born.
Apparently in Shreveport, you have to fill out a form called a "Birth Certificate Worksheet" before you can get your baby's birth certificate. I know I didn't have to do this in New York, and it seems extra inappropriate since the worksheet's personal questions and answers are reported to the state. Laird Sapir, the new mom, refused to relinquish her privacy to the state in all of these areas, and luckily the ACLU came to her aid. Her baby now has a birth certificate and will be able to be President when he or she grows up.
While my doctors know my medical history (as they should), someone issuing a birth certificate for my babies does not need to know if I smoked marijuana in college. The abortion question is especially invasive, considering the birth certificate issue has nothing to do with your life before the birth of that child. The ACLU explains that these questions are simply tagged on for statistical research, but are invasive and should not be required in order for you to receive a legal document.
It's no one's business, with the exception of your physician, what choices you've made. If you want to tell everyone, great. But refusing to give you a document that your baby has to have to do, well, basically anything because you won't spill is unacceptable. Good job ACLU, and let's hope more women of Shreveport recognize that they don't have to hand over this personal information.
Bobby Jindal, you'd better get your state in line, because you know the second your exploratory committee is intact, someone is going to swear you weren't born in this country.
Did you have to do this before getting your baby's birth certificate?
Image via Upsilon Andromedae/Flickr