Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Preconceptions

Well I'll have knotted neurons, this document from the CDC is huge!
Not only is it huge, it's not really scientific. It has the scientific sound:

Quote:
Childbearing is a common experience among women in the United States. In 2000, an estimated 62 million U.S. women were of childbearing age (aged 15--44 years), distributed in approximately equal segments across the age groups of 15--24, 25--34, and 35--44 years (9). By age 25 years, approximately half of all women in the United States have experienced at least one birth, and approximately 85% of all women in the United States have given birth by age 44 years. end quote.

That's the beginning sentence of the third paragraph. So I begin to understand what's really at stake here.

Then, there is the less-than-scientific sound here:

Quote:
Preconception care aims to promote the health of women of reproductive age before conception and thereby improve pregnancy-related outcomes (5--7). ...
This report discusses several interventions that, if implemented before pregnancy, can improve pregnancy outcomes for women and infants. ...
This report provides recommendations to improve both preconception health and preconception health care. ...
The recommendations should be used by consumers, clinical care providers, public health professionals, researchers, policy makers, and others concerned with the health of women, children, and families. ...
Federal, state, and local public health agencies can play a vital role in translating these recommendations into projects, educational materials, and programs designed to improve preconception health. ...
These recommendations are a strategic plan to improve preconception health through clinical care, individual behavior change, community-based public health programs, and social marketing campaigns to change consumer knowledge and attitudes and practices. ...
end quote.

I think you get the drift of this ponderous, badly-written list of policy recommendations.
Contraception is mentioned once. Here.

Quote:
In addition to having chronic diseases, a substantial proportion of women who become pregnant engage in high-risk behaviors and contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes. In 2003, a total of 11% of pregnant women smoked during pregnancy, a risk factor for low birthweight (10), and 10% of pregnant women and 55% of women at risk for getting pregnant (i.e., those not using contraception or using ineffective contraceptive methods or using effective contraceptive methods inconsistently) consumed alcohol, a risk for fetal alcohol syndrome (45). Certain women also continued to engage in high-risk sexual behavior, potentially exposing themselves to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV (46). Although a smaller proportion of women used illicit drugs, this high-risk behavior has been associated with adverse outcomes. These behaviors often co-occur, therefore, compounding the risk for adverse outcomes for certain groups. Immunization for adults and infants is critical for preventing infectious diseases (e.g., influenza and pertussis). end quote.

Please note that contraception is used in a paragraph that highlights risky behaviors, disease, all the things that could make a pregnancy go awry. It is associated with high-risk behavior, and a kind of liberty which is at odds with conservative constructions of women. I'm sure Betty Crouse and the CWFA had a hand in the writing of this document at some time or other. It reflects their agenda perfectly.

I want to thank the current issue of Truthdig for the link to the CDC statement, they linked to it in this article by Sunsara Taylor. While the pre-pregnant classification has been mentioned frequently by liberals and people who oppose the perspective from which the statement arises, I did not notice pre-pregnant here. I did, however, notice the repetition of preconception, preconception health, etc. As if they want to create a classification of health care called preconception and then through it, they would modify the behavior of women. Yes, I think it's a backdoor attempt to control women's lives by controlling their bodies. The war on women just never stops, and if that sounds like hysteria, well here is evidence. Choke on it.

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