Slate author Hanna Rosin explains her objection to attachment parenting as follows:
There is the very basic objection that it is virtually impossible to do what the [attachment parenting] advocates say is best for your baby and have a job, which the vast majority of American mothers have these days. . . . But this leads to my second and more profound problem with it. Attachment parenting demands not just certain actions you take with your baby but also certain emotional states to accompany those actions. So, it’s not just enough to breast-feed but one has to experience “breast-feeding induced maternal nirvana.” And it’s not enough to snuggle—you have to snuggle enough to achieve a spiritual high. As Badinter has said, once women were just expected to tolerate their babies, Betty Draper style, but now they are expected to experience “jouissance,” loosely translated as “orgasm.” And this is what makes the movement truly oppressive.
If I'm interpreting Rosin correctly, she doesn't really mind if individual, well-off mothers decide to follow the attachment parenting model-- but she cares very much about making sure that this does not become a societal expectation. I agree. And as a pro-life advocate, I would add that a social obligation to practice attachment parenting is not only oppressive for the mothers, but for the children as well.
"Every child a wanted child" is a favorite phrase for abortion advocates. ("And if they're not wanted, kill them before they're born" doesn't seem to fit on the bumper sticker.) But that's only the beginning. In addition to merely demanding that a mother want her child, we have also, as a society, imposed additional expectations. Oh, sure, no one would ever force a seventeen-year-old to have an abortion, but really, that's what she ought to do-- and if she chooses life, we'll punish her departure from the social norm with condescending stares at the grocery store. Teens, low-income women, women who struggle with mental illness-- all are looked down upon as women who "shouldn't be moms." Whether pro-choicers are willing to admit it or not, this attitude is very much connected to their arguments that abortion is necessary to prevent kids from growing up in poverty or otherwise having a poor "quality of life."
Now imagine if attachment parenting becomes the societal norm. How many more classes of women will be added to the "shouldn't be moms" club? (Moms who work full-time outside the home, perhaps?) How many will be told that they cannot give their unborn baby the life that he or she deserves? How many will be pressured into having an abortion?
This is not only oppressive and deadly, it's also just wrong as a scientific matter. Psychologists who research parenting and child development have developed a theory of "good enough" parenting, which posits that a parental focus on attaining perfection is counterproductive. Obviously, abuse and neglect are horrible and unacceptable. But once you get above that basic threshold, parents actually have a lot of leeway. Kids turn out just fine within a huge range of parenting styles, from attachment parenting to "free range" and everything in between.
As the public service advertisements for foster parenting say: "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." Pro-lifers need to spread this message far and wide.