As Lousiana steels itself for the possible flip of Roe v. Wade, the topic of the following post increases in relevance. Do you notice that, through all of this, not a one cares about the emotional and physical welfare of the child in question?
CBSNews.com reports that the feminist blogosphere is aghast over new government guidelines that all American women between puberty and menopause should be treated as “pre-pregnant.” If you have the requisite plumbing and it’s in perfect running condition, you are requested to take folic acid with your vitamins, quit smoking, exercise and generally abstain from poor health. [Note that in 2004, the British Health Minister decided that the nation’s flour be fortified with folic acid, ostensibly “due to outstanding concerns about vitamin B12 deficiency,” especially in seniors. Hmmmm …]
As a proponent of choice, I’m all for responsibility – a woman’s responsibility to herself, her partner and society never to bring an unplanned child into this world. (And that of would-be rapists who ought to be ashamed of even thinking of taking what isn’t given to them.) It is an abject lack of sex education and feelings of responsibility that lead women into unplanned pregnancies and motherhood. As the CDC reports, “In the United States, approximately half of all pregnancies are unintended,” and a recent study (which I can’t find the URL for right now) indicates that birth control use is on the decrease in the poor and uneducated.
If these women are ignorant of birth control measures and will do nothing to prevent these pregnancies, do you think they are any more enlightened about the musts for a healthy pregnancy and baby? The same article states that “unintended pregnancies are associated with poor maternal-child health outcomes.” Not only do you have an oops baby, but also raise the kid in poor health. Great.
Arguably, the mandate aspect of the guidelines sounds insulting to those of us who maintain good health as an end in itself and not merely to bear babies. A large part of me wonders why the government doesn’t support this for all women. Period. No pre, no pregnant, no nothing. As John says, the wording sounds like something out of a certain Margaret Atwood book. Did you know that laptop heat can impair male fertility? For heaven’s sake, there are no federal guidelines on smoking.
Then, I wonder: if this country is indeed going to hell in a handbasket, must we take scores of malnourished, malformed and generally health-disadvantaged kids with us? Ones that commited no crime other than being born into an ethos of irresponsibility on all fronts?
What makes me shake my head at the hooplah is this somewhat-competing statement from the National Institutes of Health and the Dept. of Health and Human Services that Americans are taking too many dietary supplements. An A+ to the government’s left hand for refusing to talk to the right.
A note to Louisianan women who love their rBGH-rich milk: a new study shows that ‘women who consume animal products, specifically dairy, are five times more likely to have twins than those who do not.” Make sure you carry that can of Mace around with you at all times.
Something for all of us: a new device that measures the amount of caffeine in your coffee, so you know the next time your barrista tries to keep you from exploding all over the place.
Dr. Van Pelt out.