Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pre-Pregnant, all the time

I found this Washington Post article on one of my liberal blogs. Here is the link http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/15/AR2006051500875_pf.html
But I thought I'd paste the most relevant part of the article here.

"New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.
Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control."

On one hand, this seems like simple common sense. All women should just stay healthy. So should all men, for that matter. Also, since a great deal of pregnancies are unplanned, women should be aware that everything they do could affect an unplanned pregnancy.

BUT on the other hand, this seems kinda weird. While all the things included in the above paragraphs seem perfectly reasonable, it also seems to say that all women, regardless of their plans, their sexual orientation, or their actual sexaul activities, should spend all years in which they could have a child acting like they are having a child. Why don't all women just cut to the chase and stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen for their whole lives? Maybe instead of, or in addition to, pushing women to act like they are always on the verge of becoming pregnant and pushing insurance companies to pay for this additional care, health care providers should provide both men and women with accurate and effective contraception and information. Also, these guidelines don't take into account that some women might not be having sex with men, either because they are lesbians or because they have chosen to/lack the opportunity to have sexual intercourse. In addition to all of this, they seem to be saying that the highest, most important part of any woman's life is her ability to have a child and that all other choices should come second to that. Or, to put it more crassly, I am just an incubator for babies and I shouldn't be allowed to damage that incubator by doing things I enjoy, like drinking alcohol, smoking, eating too much or unhealthy.

It just doesn't seem right.

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