The photograph of a person, completely naked, genitals exposed, lying on a hospital bed, arms outstretched in supplication, with an expression of terror, anguish, agony, and sadness on their face, and tears running down their cheeks.
I hope--and I believe--that there isn’t anyone out there who wouldn’t immediately see this as evidence of an individual in a state of profound pain.
Would it be acceptable to share such a photograph publicly, or on Facebook? Or would this be seen as unspeakably cruel, inhumane, humiliating, and wrong?
I wonder why it is that it's considered not only acceptable, but often cute, or funny, or amusing to share such images of newborn infants?
I see such photographs frequently, of hour-old babies, faces contorted, screaming naked in their incubators, or lying on a scale, arms reaching out for the warmth of their mothers, from whom they should *never* have been separated.
Often it's genuinely happy, proud, excited new parents who have shared these photos. And I mean them no ill-will, nor personal judgement. In fact, we have all become inured to the suffering of infants.
Nonetheless, babies should not be treated this way. The torture and abuse of newborn babies is ingrained in our institutions and in our culture, to the degree that we don’t even see it as the torture and abuse that it is.
This mercilessly brutal treatment of infants is ingrained and condoned by our institutions, no more so than within the industrial obstetric sphere.
Newborn babies are individuals. They are sentient, feeling, thinking human beings, who deserve *an excess* of compassion, gentleness, kindness and respect--during the birth process, immediately after, and beyond.
There is no need to rip an infant, 3 minutes old, away from her mother, so as to weigh her on a scale while she screams.
Rather than take a photograph of this child's terror, find her mother. Reunite them. Hold her. Assuage her pain. Change the world for the better.