Thursday, May 18, 2006


OK, I know that it's not a new story that
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.
- it's a couple of days old, and plenty of people have weighed in on it. But I can't stop thinking about it.

I wonder if I'm so up in arms because I don't plan to get pregnant, and I can only think of these things from my point of view. Still, it shouldn't matter, I'm a woman, and my opinion on women's rights is as valid as any other woman. I live with the results every day. We all do, of course, but just like I can never know what it's like to be a black man, neither can men know what it's like to be a woman. Look at me, stating the obvious! Wheee!

OK, so back to the article. It talks about how women should
take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control
Now, forgive me if I'm missing something, here, but aren't we all supposed to be doing those things anyway, just in general? I mean, is there any doctor out there who says, "Oh, yeah. You're not pregnant, so you can go ahead and smoke 'em if you got 'em!". Are there doctors advocating unhealthy weights, or telling people that it's OK to let their asthma or diabetes slide, untreated, careening out of control?

Just in case you're the one person who does not know the answer to my rhetorical questions, no, there are not doctors who are all right with those things. In fact, these things are just about good health, period. And truthfully, everyone should, in fact keep themselves in as healthy a state as possible, just on general principal. The fact that lots of us don't is a mystery of human nature, and a study in self destruction, but it's certainly not to be lain at the feet of our doctors, who are always telling us to lose weight, exercise, and lay off the smoking and excessive booze.

So if this is good general advice, why the "pre-pregnancy" crap? That's the part that bothers me, personally. Is it because someone got the idea in their head that women would be more likely to take care of themselves if the government told them that they were harming their future children? Was it just a new twist on the old manipulation of trying to get women to take care of themselves in spite of themselves? "If you won't do it for you, do it for the babies"? That's fairly insulting, but at least good-intentioned. But what if it's not just that? What if it really is just someone's idea that women aren't any good to society if we're not pushing out the next generation (of men)? What then?

The wording in this initiative, this "preconception care", it makes me itchy. What I've learned in life is that things that make me itchy are not good things for me. I don't like it, I don't like it at all. My day to day life, my existence as a person, as Tami, is not my "preconception life", it's just my life, period.

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