Thai Officials Are Giving Women A "Very Magical" Valentine's Day Gift

Illustrated by Bella DiMarzio. Photo: Rachel Cabitt.
What tops your list of coveted Valentine's Day gifts? Mine is chocolate — and lots of it. What would never, ever make my list? Prenatal vitamins.

But that's exactly what women of childbearing age in Bangkok Thailand got on Valentine's Day. Government workers distributed 1 million baht's ($28,600) worth of prenatal vitamins to women between the ages of 20 and 34, the Associated Press reports.

It was part of an effort called "the campaign for red-cheeked Thai women to have children for the country using very magical vitamins," according to the AP.

Birth rates in the country have been declining, and the population is estimated to stop growing in 10 years if the trend continues, Dr. Wachira Pengjuntr, director of the Department of Health in Thailand, told the Associated Press.

"The Thai way of life is changing," Wachira told the AP. "Thai women are receiving higher education and the newer generation is placing a higher value on being single."

While giving prenatal vitamins to people who want and need them would be honorable, we don't think there's anything "magical" about handing these vitamins to any woman who could possibly have a child. Taking prenatal vitamins when you're not pregnant can have some pretty serious health effects.

And, besides, giving prenatal vitamins to any woman who happened to be walking in Bangkok has some pretty controlling undertones.

It essentially tells these women that they are nothing more than a baby-factory for the Thai government, and is just one more instance of government officials controlling reproductive rights.
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