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Collisions with Reality » Blog Archive » International Women and Pregnancy

International Women and Pregnancy

There have been so many frustrating things about the ongoing contraception debate in the U.S. Unfortunately, one of the things that has been lost in the debate — perhaps because it’s been dominated by men — is the basic, basic reasoning behind the contraception mandate in the first place.

Contraception is preventative health care.

I have been pregnant. It was, as these things go, a very easy pregnancy, and now I have a delightful two-year-old to show for it. Yet pregnancy absolutely affected my day-to-day health and activity. Recovering from childbirth affected my day-to-day health and activity. And have I mentioned the two-year-old? He started out as a helpless baby who nursed round-the-clock every 2-3 hours for months.

At the same time, I had every advantage possible: health care, health insurance, breastfeeding guidance, you name it. I was in excellent physical shape when I became pregnant. My husband is (and has always been) an equal partner in housework and child-minding. We were able to take advantage of all that because we were able to plan the pregnancy — we had the resources to make sure that we could wait until we were ready.

On International Women’s Day, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that while pregnancy and childbearing takes a toll on even those of us who are privileged, most women in this world do not have every advantage that I do. It is not a coincidence that contraception is financially out of reach for many women, and half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. Internationally, the picture is even bleaker. Women under the age of twenty who have children are more likely to suffer birth injuries, more likely to die in childbirth, and more likely to become stuck in a cycle of poverty. Family planning gives women personal autonomy when it comes to their health, their careers, and their lives.

Contraception is preventative health care.

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03 2012

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mike #

    Hear, hear. It’s so sad this debate is really even necessary.