Spanish government removes child from mother on the grounds that she was “breastfeeding too long”

Nine days ago, on May 31st, a Morrocan mother known as Habiba had her child take away from her without consent, allegedly because she breastfed her child on demand.

The child is 15 months old.

I am still breastfeeding my 21 month old. If I was living in Spain they would have grounds to take my child away.

This case is an appalling example of patriarchal interference in the mother-child bond and of riding roughshod over women, especially vulnerable women who may not have a male “patron” head of household, or  who may be immigrants, in which case racism comes into play.

They have allowed her to visit her little daughter in the government institution for just one hour a week.

Here is the mother’s testimony on her daughter’s trauma from being separated from her loving mother:

This morning, a Spanish newspaper published further declarations by Dr. Olza about Habiba’s impression upon meeting her child briefly yesterday:

“My little girl is no longer the child I knew, at first she wouldn’t even look at me… she has lost half a kilo, she looks very thin, this is not proper childcare, she had circles under her eyes, she started crying as soon as I picked her up but then she would stop immediately as if she didn’t have the physical strength to cry any longer, she didn’t seem like my daughter, she looked like a dead child, a doll”.

Thankfully this is the internet age and it seems as though some high profile women are already on the case, plus the Spanish government is being inundated with letters.

But it makes me realise that this type of thing has been going on all along.. that the P has been pulling these stunts against women for years and years and it’s only now–now that we have mass electronic communication– that we are beginning to learn about it all.

Greer said that one of the biggest obstacles for women when they were eventually allowed access to education and the written word, was how misogynistic all the literature was… until then women had been going about their merry way ignorant of the bile that was targeted at them by male authors. Learning about the world and how men saw them was horrifying… but it was necessary in order to make changes.

I feel the same about the internet. Men have been playing these secret games of abusing women to get their kicks, but it seems to me that the jig is up. Women can organize and mobilize.. it is going to be a lot harder this century to keep these kinds of abuses against women a secret.. As much as they would like to, something tells me they’re not going to be able to do so as easily as they have done before.

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9 thoughts on “Spanish government removes child from mother on the grounds that she was “breastfeeding too long”

  1. Pingback: » Habiba Eine spanische Gute Nacht Geschichte

  2. It is just mind-boggling that they could do this. I’m so glad that the word is getting out and people are mobilizing. They do this to poor women especially because they think that the women will not fight back. I wonder at their real motives in this specific case. Did she mouth off at them and this is retribution? Were they trying to get women to leave the facility? Was sexual harrassment or rape involved? Or were they just unfeeling control-freak bureaucrats making rules out of touch with the real needs of actual human women and babies? These things are all part of misogyny. I’m so glad for electronic media and getting the word out like this.

  3. Thanks for this post, Cherry. The Spanish government should be ashamed of itself for allowing men to interfere between a healthy mother and baby. They should return the child immediately, even a week away from its mother is a long time to a baby.

  4. Totally unbelievable article about taking the infant away from her mother. At fifteen months, that is hardly excessive. So sad to hear the little girl has been traumatised by all this, I hope she recovers quickly when returned to her mother. It is disgusting what the authorities have done.

    You/Greer are so right that most women remain ignorant about what men think about them. It is a shocker when you finally realise. Radical feminism lifts the veil on this pretense.

    • Hi Fab, no it’s not excessive at all. I know a woman personally who breastfed her daughter until the age of six. Not a choice I would make myself but there’s no way she has damaged her child psychologically. The women in northern tribe in Japan, “Ainu” all breastfed their children way past toddlerhood. Children stay very “young” until about the age of seven and then suddenly at age eight they’re like mini adults.
      It’s nobody’s business what goes on between a mother and child.. all this Freudian psychoanalysis is rooted in misogyny.

      What *does* damage a child, for definite, is living with an abusive father… one who sexually abuses his kids or ends up killing them.. why don’t they focuse on the real criminals?!?!?!?!

  5. You/Greer are so right that most women remain ignorant about what men think about them. It is a shocker when you finally realise. Radical feminism lifts the veil on this pretense.

    I so agree, FAB Libber, I was with a group of women recently, about half lesbians, half-het. All were talking about male children (lesbians) and boyfriends (het). I was so aware of how ignorant they were of what is going on behind the veil, as was I until I gave up the myth of exceptionalism.

    What *does* damage a child, for definite, is living with an abusive father… one who sexually abuses his kids or ends up killing them.. why don’t they focuse on the real criminals?!?!?!?!

    CBL, that’s it, isn’t it? It really is horrible that children must live with an abusive father. Of course, they go after women for the smallest things. I thought, WTF, 15 months is not a long time to breastfeed. What in the hell are they talking about?

    If it were a just world, they’d go after these institutional abusers and put them in jail for child abuse. I’d also love to see a large monetary award to the woman and her child, something that would cover the therapy they both need for this trauma. (Feminist therapist, only, of course).

  6. Pingback: What’s Going on Spain? Poor Habiba & Alma « Nurturing Career Mama's Blog

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