Thursday, May 25, 2006

One more personal freedom down the toilet

Wow – as if trying to prevent the use of condoms, blocking the sale of the ‘day after’ pill, removing sex education from schools, pushing abstinence as the only option and trying to destroy every last remnant of our freedom of choice if you are pregnant - wasn’t bad enough – the government has now decided that all women from age 12 (or whenever their first period starts) until 60 (or whenever menopause occurs) should behave as if we’re trying to become pregnant at all times.

Of course I guess the odds of that are more likely with all the rules they’ve put into place restricting our ability to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

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. The report also recommends that women discuss with their doctor the danger alcohol poses to a developing fetus.

Women should also make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and avoid contact with lead-based paints and cat feces, Biermann said.

Obviously most of these items fall under general health care anyhow, it’s healthier if you don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, etc. but really – we can’t even change the kitty liter box anymore?? (of course I’m sure there are millions of teenage girls jumping for joy over that one.)

And the bigger question is - how far is between “New federal guidelines ask” and “New federal guidelines require”?

The fact that they’re already trying to do so….and subversively slip it into our regular medical care indicates it’s not far off.

Experts acknowledge that women with no plans to get pregnant in the near future may resist preconception care. "We know that women -- unless you're actively planning [a pregnancy], . . . she doesn't want to talk about it," Biermann said. So clinicians must find a "way to do this and not scare women," by promoting preconception care as part of standard women's health care, she said.

Sure, it would take a lot for it to become some sort of ‘punishable by law’ offense for a women to smoke, drink and not take vitamins – but it wouldn’t take a whole lot under the current administration for them to withhold or reduce our insurance benefits if we weren’t following these “recommendations.” Insurance is higher for those who smoke. This could easily be a first step to raising premiums or reducing coverage for those who don’t follow the guidelines.

Which then, if a women did choose to become pregnant, or does so accidentally – and the child had some sort of health issue, the insurance company then restricts or reduces coverage on that child because the mother didn’t follow the ‘pre-pregnancy recommendations’ even if she stops smoking, drinking, etc. once she knew she was pregnant.

I know – I sound awfully conspiracy theory here – but seriously – it’s these small things that slide in when no one is looking that come back to bite us in the ass down the line. Wait and see – if we don’t stop the government from trying to tell us what we can and cannot do with our own bodies this is going to become a huge ass-biter in another decade or less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now now ... let's take another perspective. Because really, the philosophy behind this is good - it's just the motivator that's bad.

Let's rewrite the sentence, "Live each day as if you intend to get pregnant someday," as this: "Live each day as if you intend to die someday." Which I think is much more realistic, because everyone dies - and not even half the people in the world get pregnant.

So if you'll excuse me, it's back to my life of driving too fast, drinking too much and skipping the daily multivitamin. Just following government intent, you know ...