Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pre-Pregnancy, Continued

I went off in the comments, so I'll just move it here. This is my reply to Al, who validly pointed out that the guidelines aren't a bad idea, just "poorly worded." As you'll find out below, I'm not willing to believe the poor wording isn't politically motivated:

It's great to want healthy women and children, but they skip out on one of the best ways to make sure those 50% of unplanned children are healthy, and that's provide access to birth control and sex ed so that women CAN plan to have children when they're living life at it's best. It's restrictive to say, "you should always be healthy because you might be pregnant" when we have so much that could be available to help people not be pregnant.

Simply telling women "you're pre-pregnant, so don't drink?" What if they want to drink? What if they want a Whole College Experience?

And why are they not advising ment to be pre-pregnant? There are many things men are advised to do in order to become successful fathers. I'm especially all about the "not beating your partner" bit, as spousal abuse during pregnancy is more likely than many alcohol related defects, and can cause more damage to both baby and mom.

It's more than just poor wording. It's the calculated omission of the woman-as-person from the equation of reproduction, so as not to piss anyone off politically. It also omits men beyond their contribution to the act, and presents a view of babymaking as pollination, wherein women are flowers that must remain as healthy as possible so that when they are pollinated they can bear fruit that's not too bruised to join the workforce (erm... I got a little Marxist there).

I'm no health nut, but I know that all of these things are healthy things to do. If it had been couched as "maximizing women's health" I'd be behind it. But when you're actively focusing on women's health as reproductive health, and not focusing on access to birth control or men's role in reproduction, you're not really concerned about women, but about controlling their bodies. Osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, physical and sexual violence should be addressed with women of all ages, as they are huge health risks for women at younger ages than previously thought. But instead, we are told that obesity and diabetes, because they affect the fetus, ought to be primary concerns.

I'm not saying that there isn't a clear neet help women be healthy. I'm saying the calculated selection of women shows an interes only in their health as spawn-producing bodies, not in their health as productive, vital members of society.


Blogger Teresa said...

Whaaaaa? What do you mean woman-as-person? Why, that's just crazy.

I swear just thinking about the whole issue makes me too tired to comment. People screw. Women get pregnant. Keep women in the dark, but keep them healthy.

What better plan is there?

That's as much as I can muster.

7:14 PM  

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