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laura

Greta asked me to add my comments over here, so here they are -

well, based on the author's recommendations, none of us should be cleaning the cat boxes, which would result in some pretty unhappy cats...

Here are my issues, after reading it:
- most of those health recommendations (don't smoke, treat your diabetes) are far more important for a woman's health than her potential offspring. I find it a bit insulting that the authors are more concerned about those interventions because they could help my non-children than because they would be good for my health. It's all pretty standard public health messages. I'm surprised wearing seat belts wasn't included. These things should be pushed because they are good for all of us now, not just because of some future child. It's the prioritizing of the unborn over the born thing, and it icks me out.

- some of the other interventions are just really impractical for ALL women 15-44, like cleaning the litter box, or not drinking ANY alcohol ever. Are you going to stop drinking, start taking folic acid, and not clean the litter box? Should I? They make sense if one is pregnant or TTC, but aren't sustainable in the long term.

- the assumption that because MOST women will get pregnant, these interventions should be applied to ALL women. It's a variation of the question asked by the gynecologist about birth control: Q1 are you sexually active - yes. Q2 are you using any birth control - no. followed by either a look, a question about do you WANT to get pregnant, or a lecture. Of course there's several other options. We're not all having procreative sex. I'm really not having any kids. Really. And I would fire any doctor who didn't take my word for it. It reeks of not trusting women to know what's going on in their lives, or their reproductive self-determination.

I'm pretty distrustful of anything coming out of the CDC these days, though, so I am assuming the worst possible motives from a group of researchers who are really just trying to improve birth outcomes, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Yes, more women should have health care! Maybe even, you know, universal health care. I hear it does really good things for all sorts of people, including moms and babies. The authors get props for pushing for more health coverage, even if they won't explicitly call out the government policies that limit it.

I think they really are more concerned about saving the babies than the moms, and are seeing all women as potential mothers, and may believe that they are doing that for benign motives but in this Reagan, I mean Bush era, I think that even clueless birth defect researchers need to think about the context in which they present things like this.

I think we're all so primed to jump to the defense of our reproductive rights that we're seeing evil intent everywhere. That may not be true, but I think the report authors are a little naive if they didn't anticipate this sort of response. Also, they came across a bit more hard core in the WaPo article, which could be editing.

Cara Fletcher

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians-this one very helpful book for lesbian mothers and their kids.I used it during my pregnancy and it helped me alot.It's really great.

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