So according to the Washington Post, "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." (full article here)

Wow, thank you, CDC, for reminding me that my entire purpose in life is to breed babies. Despite relentless attempts to limit the women's right to choose, I'd almost forgotten. Good thing the federal government is here to help me be the best incubator I can be. Well, aside from doing anything as ridiculous as providing affordable pre-natal care to everyone who needs it.

Perhaps the high infant mortality rate in this country (second-highest in the world, is it? Or perhaps just among industrialized countries? Whatever, it's embarrassingly bad), cited as a possible motivation for this new "guideline," has to do with the flagrant lack of health coverage. I doubt that French women are any more likely to abstain from alcohol and cigarrettes than American women just because they're pre-menopausal. But French women are much more likely to be getting all the health care they need throughout their lives, and especially throughout their pregnancies, simply because they all have access to it.

And what's this assumption that every woman might get pregnant at any moment? Obviously, if the neocons get their way and outlaw all contraception, a lot of us will be a hell of a lot more likely to. But excluding rape, I doubt many lesbian women will have any unexpected pregnancies any time soon, not to mention those who are not at all sexually active.

I'm all for promoting good health. But couching it in this "your body is a baby-machine" mentality is beyond fucked up. It is not my sole purpose in life to create more life, any more than it's every living thing's life goal to perpetuate the species. The government isn't telling men to stay away from tighty-whiteys in order to maximize their sperm count, or to shy away from alcohol themselves because it can reduce performance.

This kind of thing doesn't just piss me off. It fucking terrifies me. As Dan Savage says, it's a small step between "should" and "must," and this is a damn slippery slope.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for the return of posts on badassurl!

    (and boo to the CDC).