Female athletes, the "weakened state" of pregnancy, and abortion doping

The Associated Press reported May 22:

The NCAA's committee on women in sports will review its guidelines amid reports of female athletes being threatened with the loss of scholarships if they became pregnant....

Last week, Cassandra Harding, a member of the Memphis track team, told The Associated Press that she lost her scholarship after becoming pregnant, and a Clemson athlete told ESPN she had an abortion to stay in school.

Harding, who also considered abortion, returned to school without a scholarship and rejoined the track team as a walk-on after having her daughter, Assiah, now 22 months old.

Although NCAA rules allow a school to grant an athlete an extra year of eligibility if she misses a year because of pregnancy, the rules don't require it. Nor do they spell out the rights of a pregnant athlete.

Here's yet another example of coerced abortions, a worldwide crime against mothers and children for a plethora of reasons - population control, rape/incest cover-up, and even athletic scholarships. And, again, where are the feminists?

Harding... interesting. Many pro-aborts on this site complain pregnancy invokes a 'weakened state" when the opposite is true. Dr. Poul-Erik Paulev of the University of Copenhagen wrote that pregnancy appears to increase muscle strength in female athletes:

o'sullivan.jpg

Female top athletes - just following the time when they gave birth to their first child - have set several world records.

A rowing blogger corroborated:

It's a well known fact that female endurance athletes do tend to perform better after childbirth (Sonia O'Sullivan [pictured right, with daughter] and Liz McColgan are classic examples).

female athlete 3.jpgThere's also the phenomenon of abortion doping, another proof, albeit sick, that pregnancy empowers. I read about this a few years ago, something when fact-checking for this post I found even Snopes corroborated:

As gruesomely unbelievable as this must sound, there is some reason to believe such a procedure might exist.

Snopes explained abortion doping is:

... the notion that female athletes can supercharge their bodies through aborting a fetus just before competition and reabsorbing into their own systems the additional hormones the pregnancy produced. Akin to blood doping, the object is to increase the presence of a natural substance in the athlete... in this case... hormone levels... are being boosted....

All this raises many questions. Is it fair or unfair to make special rules for pregnant women athletes? Is abortion doping acceptable or not? Why or why not?

And can someone please explain how pregnancy weakens a woman, particularly when at that time she's doing the one thing men can't do?

[Hat tip: LifeNews.com]


Comments:

More from the snopes piece,

Abortion doping was the topic of debate at the First Permanent World Conference on Anti-Doping in Sport held in Ottawa in 1988. According to delegates' statements from that conference, some Eastern European female athletes were having themselves artificially inseminated, then aborting the fetuses two or three months later to take advantage of a perceived hormone boost. Names were not named and specifics were not given, but this was one of the topics under discussion.

Oh my goodness. This is just unbelievable!!!

And as for the rest of your article, it completely disgusts me that pregnant women are so often discriminated against and coerced into having abortions so that they can continue with their jobs, their ambitions, etc. I am so tired of women falling for the insane notion that being pregnant makes you less of a woman. When are the feminists going to realize this actually demeans women, that it does not empower them?

This should be an outrage to ANY woman, and especially feminists!

Posted by: Bethany at May 25, 2007 9:30 AM


I read actress Hunter Tylo's book. Hunter admitted that she'd had an abortion, and to this day she feels deep regret. Hunter wrote that she found herself pregnant again at the same time she had been offered a huge roll on a popular T.V. show. Don't quote me on this, but I think it was Melrose Place. Producers asked her to have an abortion, and she refused. I see her on some Soap Opera now. Good for you Hunter!!

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 9:45 AM


Heather4life,

I understand Ms.Tylo had Gloria Allred, the ex-wife of abortionist Allred, as her attorney in this case. While I do not always agree with Ms. Allred, there are times I admire and respect her, this being one such situation. I also respected her efforts to protect the children of OJ Simpson.

Bethany,

In the mid 1950's, championship skiier Andrea Mead Lawrence was skiing when 7 months pregnant!
Then I read that Billie Jean King had an abortion so she could continue her tennis. I read that while female athletes may have to temporarily curtail certain activities, others can safely maintain them throughout pregnancy if they are well conditioned and trained in that sport, which makes one wonder if Ms. King really "needed" an abortion. For obvious reasons pregnant women who were not properly conditioned and trained were strongly advised not to take up a new sport until after delivery.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 10:06 AM


For a great movie about a woman whom a judge tries to coerce into having an abortion, see CITIZEN RUTH, starring lovely Laura Dern.

Posted by: SoMG at May 25, 2007 10:59 AM


I havn't heard of "abortion doping" but I know that I had the super woman pregancy phenomena when I was pregnant with my son. I remember running for miles and not feeling a bit tired. It was pretty cool. The Erythropoietin burst was definitely noticeable in my case.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 11:47 AM


I saw this on Outside the Lines (it aired on Mother's Day, I think) about the pregnant student athletes. There were some women on there whose coaches and university administrators made sure they were confortably accomodated during the time they had to take off from sports, also. I'm glad the NCAA is beginning to provide guidelines for these situations. But I don't understand why they get their scholarships taken away in the first place, why couldn't they apply for a medical redshirt? Or are the current rules so that you can only get one if you are injured while playing your sport? I am not intimately familiar with NCAA rules.


As for the part about the European athletes getting in vitro and then aborting, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. It costs a lot of money for in vitro, why would anyone go through all that and then have an abortion? I mean, there are less expensive (and less insane) ways of boosting performance.

Posted by: JK at May 25, 2007 11:58 AM


Lauren, like you, I also had the burst of motivation...to this day I still cannot figure out how I was able to accomplish all that I accomplished during my pregnancies. It takes a few monthsbefore you get energetic- the first few months you are tired because your baby is growing so quickly...I think by the second trimester, that is when you begin getting that energy. And the power of it is absolutely amazing. There is no one on this earth who could convince me i was in a weakened state during that time. LOL

Posted by: Bethany at May 25, 2007 11:59 AM


JK, I don't think they were getting in vitro. They may have simply done IUI, a fairly inexpensive procedure.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 12:06 PM


Mary, I had NO idea that Gloria Allred was married to Edward. You're kidding???

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 12:07 PM


"It costs a lot of money for in vitro, why would anyone go through all that and then have an abortion? I mean, there are less expensive (and less insane) ways of boosting performance."

There are also a lot more fun ways to get pregnant.

Seriously, though, I agree with Jill that abortion doping, if it exists, is disturbing. It does seem like a very extreme idea, and it it happens, it must be very rare.

Posted by: Hal at May 25, 2007 12:15 PM


Heather4life,

That's what I read. However when I check Google I must correct myself. It does not name him as her ex-husband. My apologies.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 12:20 PM


I have a story about losing funding because of pregnancy. This wasn't an athletic scholarship, but academic.

I was awarded a 90,000 dollar scholarship for 4 years at a prestigious women's college that shall remain nameless.

I got pregnant my first semester. I was told that I was welcome to stay at _____ as a student, but could not live in student housing. My school offered no parenting or married housing. Because I was being forced off campus, I would be classified as a day student and my scholarship would be cut by 2/3. This was a larger % reduction in scholarship than tuition.

In addition I was no longer eligible for work study, as it was availible only to on-campus students. This was about 400 dollars a month.

Long story short, I left the school because I could not afford the tuition. One would think that at a women's college they would have better services for pregnant and parenting students. Apparantly not.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 12:22 PM


Lauren,

I can remember when it was a common practice to toss pregnant girls and young women out of schools, married or not. No one asked what would happen if the young woman didn't finish her education. A woman could also lose her job. In both situations women had no legal rights or protection.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 12:31 PM


Mary, Interestingly enough I Googled Gloria's name. I found no relation to abortionist Edward, but I did find a list of celebrity women who have all had abortions. Allred was one of those women. The part that really caught my attention was that in addition to the abortions, it also listed medical conditions. Several of the women had breast cancer. However, some people still claim that there is no link between the 2. Very interesting!

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 12:45 PM


"The part that really caught my attention was that in addition to the abortions, it also listed medical conditions. Several of the women had breast cancer. However, some people still claim that there is no link between the 2. Very interesting!"

Heather, you're not suggesting that "several" women having breast cancer after abotions proves a link are you?

I know you guys assert that causation can be established, (and I honestly haven't studied it) but there is no way that this list establishes anything.


Posted by: hal at May 25, 2007 1:19 PM


Hal, do you have any proof that abortion and breast cancer are not related?

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 1:21 PM


Heather, how many times must we say that if you make a claim, you cite the sources and prove it? Burden of proof and all.

Why, exactly, is it weak for a woman to choose not to become pregnant? What's weak about knowing what she does and does not want to do with her body and her life?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 1:24 PM


Less-

Maybe I missed it, but where did anyone say a woman is weak if she chooses not to become pregnant?

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 1:26 PM


Hal, I want you to also know that 2 of my co workers/friends both died from breast cancer. One of them was in her 40's and the other was in her 50's. Both of them had confided to me that they'd had abortions when they were young. I mean, how do we REALLY know?

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 1:27 PM


I'm not trying to start an argument. I was just pointing it out. There have been studies done that link the 2. I'll pull up that site if you want to take a look.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 1:36 PM


That's certainly the implication of this blog.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 1:45 PM


Hal,

Please go to www.abortionbreastcancer.com for all the latest information and research on this subject. You can draw your own conclusions. If these studies showed a connection between breast cancer and breast implants, believe me the feminists and MSM would find these studies valid and would be howling. They went after Dow Corning and created public hysteria on a lot less evidence.
We are told when just about anything might, just might, be a carcinogen. Why do we hear absolutely nothing on a possible abortion/breast cancer link?
Its a politics Hal. Abortion is a sacred cow. That is why you hear little of the deaths and serious complications of RU486, or women who die from surgical abortion, but you'll never hear the end of the alleged "illegal abortion" death of a teenager years ago.
From what I have seen, I believe women, at the very least have a right to know of these studies and should be encouraged to objectively look at the evidence on both sides and draw their own conclusions. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 1:46 PM


Oh, I thought you were saying that someone made a comment to that affect in this post, Less.

As for me, I would rather a woman who doesn't want children be allowed to utilize voluntary sterlization, than have an abortion.

Most physicians refuse to allow younger women to be sterlized, but I think that's a bit paternalistic and demeaning. If you know that you NEVER want children, why wait for 10 years using faulty birth control when you could just get Essure and be done with it?

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 1:50 PM


Or we could put funding into the search for a 100% effective contraceptive method that would still allow for changes of mind.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 1:52 PM


Okay, here are a few names of the women on the abortion/breast cancer list: Suzanne Somers, Gloria Steinem, Lynn Redgrave {mastectomy] Sondra Locke [double mastectomy] Linda Ellerbee[ mastectomy]

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 1:56 PM


I don't think we'll ever find a birth control method that is 100%, especially one that is reversable. There are too many factors that influence fertility. I could be wrong, but it seems like Mirana is as close as we'll get with current technology.

Perhaps microbosides will be the magical answer, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 1:58 PM


Abortion doping? Do people sit around at happy hour and come up with this stuff, mapped out napkins? Sounds like mythology to me... certainly not a prevalent problem.

As far as scholarships go, the woman made an agreement that she would provide her athletic talents in exchange for an education. If she can not keep up her end of the agreement, short of injuring herself during actual athletic event, then the university should have the option to terminate that agreement.

This particular feminist believes that if an athlete can't appreciate her free ride such that she'd be out getting knocked-up... she doesn't deserve the free ride. This particular feminist thinks thereís nothing wrong if theyíd choose to have an abortion in order to maintain their contract.

When I was an athlete (gymnastics), we were admonished and derided for having expended energy in any sexual pursuit.... and a few tooo many hickies too often could get you kicked off the team. If youíre a serious athlete, then youíve accepted that your life is not going to be like the lives of your friends. You work, train, study, and compete. That is it, and you love it more so than sex. Most people canít do that, and thatís what makes you special.


Posted by: Cameron at May 25, 2007 2:07 PM


What about me, Cameron?

My scholarship was purely academic. Was it fair for my school to essentially make it impossible for me to continue my education simply because I intended to have my child?

I was married, so it was possible that I might have been able figure *something* out, but had I been single I would have had no option but to drop out.

How is this a choice?

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:16 PM


The fact of it is, pregnancy disrupts "everyday" life. It might be natural, but it is going to change the way you live each day. You could get sick, there could be complications, and once labor and delivery occurs, your entire life is going to change.

If a person is paid to go to a certain school, and they can't deliver for whatever reason, the school has every right to remove the student. I know that I'd love to see schools figure out a compromise, but if a school isn't willing, there isn't much to do about it.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:27 PM


ARG!

Less, you are saying (if you intend to or not) that in order for a woman to be "allowed" to stay at an institution she must "fix" herself.

Instead of holding the institiution accountable or their sexist attitudes, you're taking the NARAL 1971 stance that women can not be accepted "as is".

This is so infuriating. I should not have to kill my child in order to complete my education. I earned a scholarship based on credintials that do not change because I am pregnant. A pregnant woman is every bit as capable as a non-pregnant woman or a man.

Again, I'm sure they have no issue with a man taking a "redshirt" if he, oh I don't know, donates a kidney or something. But women, oh no...they can't have babies!

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:35 PM


A pregnant woman is every bit as capable as a non-pregnant woman or a man.

Yes, but if they keep the child, they have something keeping them from completeing their work to their fullest ability, wouldn't you agree? I'm sure you'd agree with the idea that kids take up quite a bit of your time. And frankly, the idea behind college is that you're there to learn: kids are going to impede that.

I earned a scholarship based on credintials that do not change because I am pregnant.

They do change. You're number one priority is now your child, not your education, you don't have the same amount of time as you used to, you're going to miss classes due to doctor's appointments, if the pregnancy is bad you're going to miss classes because of that. Having a child changes things, and I don't think it unfair that the circumstance of education changes as well.

There are better ways to do it, I have no doubt. But the fact remains that becoming pregnant changes your entire life, and education does change with it.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:41 PM


Less, are you honestly defending pregnancy discrimination?

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:43 PM


I'm saying that pregnancy changes your life, and your educational standpoint will change with it. Schools should do something different than what they're doing now: I know a student who is pregnant in my school, and while she's not being given any preferential treatment, she's not being kicked out of the dorms. Frankly, I think colleges should be doing something more like that.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:47 PM


"My scholarship was purely academic. Was it fair for my school to essentially make it impossible for me to continue my education simply because I intended to have my child?"

Yes. Particularly if you signed a contract that specifically stipulated that you wouldn't get pregnant, or otherwise render yourself unable to perform. I don't know what your particular contract said.

Americans of late, particularly conservatives, seem to have some loose and liberal ideas about some stuff. I constantly run into these undergraduates having trouble with their land lords and what not because they took on a pet... some even try to get their parents' lawyers involved. They signed a contract saying they didn't/wouldn't have pets though.

Posted by: Cameron at May 25, 2007 2:51 PM


But they won't unless we fight for it. That's what the H.R. 1088: Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007 is fighting for.

"To establish a pilot program to provide grants to encourage eligible institutions of higher education to establish and operate pregnant and parenting student services offices for pregnant students, parenting students, prospective parenting students who are anticipating a birth or adoption, and students who are placing or have placed a child for adoption."

Here is how the funds are to be used-


In General- An eligible institution of higher education that receives a grant under this Act shall use grant funds to establish (or maintain) and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office, located on the campus of the eligible institution, that carries out the following programs and activities:

(1) Hosts an initial pregnancy and parenting resource forum--

(A) to assess pregnancy and parenting resources, located on the campus or within the local community, that are available to meet the needs described in paragraph (2); and

(B) to set goals for--

(i) improving such resources for pregnant, parenting, and prospective parenting students; and

(ii) improving access to such resources.

(2) Annually assesses the performance of the eligible institution and the office in meeting the following needs of students enrolled in the eligible institution who are pregnant or are parents:

(A) The inclusion of maternity coverage and the availability of riders for additional family members in student health care.

(B) Family housing.

(C) Child care.

(D) Flexible or alternative academic scheduling, such as telecommuting programs.

(E) Education to improve parenting skills for mothers and fathers and to strengthen marriages.

(F) Resources to assist parents and prospective parents in meeting the material needs of their children.

(G) Post-partum counseling and support groups.

(3) Identifies public and private service providers, located on the campus of the eligible institution or within the local community, that are qualified to meet the needs described in paragraph (2), and establishes programs with qualified providers to meet such needs.

(4) Assists pregnant and parenting students and their spouses in locating and obtaining services that meet the needs described in paragraph (2).

(5) If appropriate, provides referrals for prenatal care and delivery, infant or foster care, or adoption, to a student who requests such information. An office shall make such referrals only to service providers that primarily serve the following types of individuals:

(A) Parents.

(B) Prospective parents awaiting adoption.

(C) Women who are pregnant and plan on parenting or placing the child for adoption.

(D) Parenting or prospective parenting couples who are married or who plan on marrying in order to provide a supportive environment for each other and their child.

(b) Expanded Services- In carrying out the programs and activities described in subsection (a), an eligible institution of higher education receiving a grant under this Act may choose to provide access to such programs and activities to a pregnant or parenting employee of the eligible institution, and the employee's spouse.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:52 PM


My contract said absolutely nothing about pregnancy.

In fact, the only way to invalidate my contract was to break Honor Code, which I did not.

My school was acting under the code of conduct that stated that no children were allowed in campus housing except where designated. There was no designated housing.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:56 PM


Why should pregnant women be given preferential treatment at colleges? Why is it the college's responsibility to provide referals and education? If you choose to get prengnat and choose to keep the child, why is it everyone else's responsibility to cater to you?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 2:57 PM


Less, you're right. Why should employers be forced to give women "prefrential treatment" of maternity leave?

Because it is ultimately good for society to have educated and employeed women.

Pregnant students face unique challanges not faced by non-pregnant students. If we are to embrace the notion that women are equal to men, we must embrace the differences between the sexes. Women can have children, this doesn't make them less than a man.

As a society we should adapt to this fact, instead of pretending it does not exist.

As a pro-choice woman you should be applauding efforts that enable women to make a choice. Being forced into abortion by circumstance is no choice at all.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 3:02 PM


Let me clarify that these challanges are rarely a result of the pregnancy itself, but rather a result of a society that is adverse to young, pregnant women.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 3:04 PM


Maternaty leave, from what I understand, is mostly for the last stages of the pregnancy and for the birth and a few weeks after. This is necessary, not preferential, as cubicals generally aren't sanitary enough to give birth in.

Women can choose to have children, you're right, and this doesn't make them less then men. But shouldn't they also decide which circumstances are best for having said children? I think that colleges definitately need to revise how they deal with pregnant students, but building entire housing units for pregnant students seems a bit much. Most professors I've met are pretty considerate if you have to miss classes and whatnot, and there are medical centers in most cities that will give prenatal exams. Why should the college provide services that are already there?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 3:07 PM


Don't you think people should live up to their end of an agreement Lauren? In addition to the universal human right of bodily autonomy... does the presence of a fetus also make so that no contracts need by honored???

Maybe you did get a raw deal with your particular school, but I suspect you knew it would come to that when you made the CHOICE! Aren't you happy you had a CHOICE? You're just ticked-off about it because you wanted it all, but were forced to make a choice. You also made a choice to get pregnant, or you were irresponsible.

Posted by: Cameron at May 25, 2007 3:10 PM


Most full time jobs offer maturnity leave in their employee benefits package. Again... you are making a choice when choosing jobs, and if you plan to have kids, you should probably look for the job that can accomadate. There's really no comparison to school. I do however feel that graduate shool should be more accomodating as they are basically an employer of the student... which is glorified slave labor already... and most graduate shools do provide family housing and insurance plans.

Posted by: Cameron at May 25, 2007 3:17 PM


Ok, Less I think you are vastly overestimating the services provided to pregnant/parenting students.

Small schools do not even have married housing. Do you think it is fair to ask a student to move off campus, not because she is pregnant, but because she decides NOT to have an abortion? Is it asking too much of schools to apply for grants that will allow them to rectify the problem?


We aren't talking about housing pregnant students seperately, we're talking about having housing for parenting students. Many institutions have policies similar to my college's where one must live on campus to qualify for work study. Is it fair to fire a student because she is a mother?

Furthermore, students DO NOT have access to quality healthcare as it relates to pregnancy. Student health services have been shown to refer to abortion clinics and little else. This legislation insures that all choices are covered.

Maternity leave is given because we (barely)recognize that pregnant women are doing society a huge favor by having children. We need a new generation of workers, and they do not create themselves.

Your statement "Women can choose to have children, you're right, and this doesn't make them less then men. But shouldn't they also decide which circumstances are best for having said children? " Is not pro-choice. It assumes that women in college should NOT have children. This is exactly the type of attitude we are fighting against.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 3:17 PM


Cameron, I was reading your other post. You said that you are not "for" birth control, but you are "for" abortion. Cameron, you are 22 years old. You are a grown man. Stop acting like a kid. I've met 13 year olds that have demonstrated more maturity than you.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 3:21 PM


As I have said before, When you turn 18, you should be allowed to be sterilized permanently if that's what you want.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 3:23 PM


Tell me cameron, whose interests are perserved when you force a woman with a child out of school?

woman...No
child...NO
society...No

So who?

I did not break any contract, I accepted that what my school did was within its rights and transfered. I am not "happy" I had the "choice". It is because of abortion that schools are allowed to get away with this. They know that college aged women have the highest rate of abortion, and they use that to their advantage. They can afford to lose a few to their unfair polices because they know that most will abort.

I don't understand how you can say that you support women when it is so obviously not the case.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 3:24 PM


Lauren, did you read my post about Hunter Tylo? Same thing. If you want the TV roll, have an abortion!!

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 3:29 PM


Is it asking too much of schools to apply for grants that will allow them to rectify the problem?

First off, there is financial aid for pregnant women. If you search for them, there actually are scholarship and other forms of aid specifically for married or pregnant students. You just have to look for them instead of just sitting back and waiting for the school to do all of the work for you.

At the school I go to, the majority of the dorms are over ten years old, and most of them have black mold problems, leak, have bad lighting, and have severe bug problems. Grants are used to fix those issues, as they affect the majority of students. Pregnancy and pregnancy housing does not.

The vast majority of college donít require you to be on campus to be a full-time student. I have frankly never heard of a school who does. You canít get work study unless you qualify, however, and depending on the type of work study, pregnancy might disqualify you. I know that all the work study programs at my school are labor programs: they would likely cause harm to any pregnancy.

Student health care services are bad, correct, but there are other options. Planned Parenthood does referrals to low cost prenatal care. And what about those crises pregnancy centers you guys are harping on about constantly?

Pregnant women are doing society a huge favor by having children.a

Not particularly. I rarely hear a women who says that sheís getting pregnant for the betterment of society; the majority do it because they want kids. As we have more than enough workers in this society, I really donít see your point here.

It assumes that women in college should NOT have children.

College is usually not the best place to marry or become a mother, no. Do you think they particularly should?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 3:32 PM


I don't have time to respond to every point (I will later tonight), but I want to make one thing perfectly clear.

Planned Parenthood offices do NOT refer to "low cost prenatal care". They will begrudgingly refer you to "someone" (yep one whole doctor)who in my case was not even accepting new patients. Yeah, PP *really* has a commitment to access to "all" options.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 4:10 PM


All the Planned Parenthoods around me offer access to several doctors in the area: I believe the largest one actually offers prenatal care as well, though I'm unsure. Perhaps it depends on where you live.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 4:55 PM


I'm pro-choice and right now I'm ashamed to use that label because it associates me some of the other people posting comments on here. I am pro-choice because I support women and I want them to have control over their lives and choices available to them. When I saw this post my first thought was "thats awful! but at least this will be a post that pro-choicers and pro-lifers will be able to agree on"... I can't believe I am reading pro-choicers, who claim to support women, advocating discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

"You also made a choice to get pregnant, or you were irresponsible." - Cameron
I thought a basic aspect of the pro-choice movement was that sex is not consent to pregnancy and that not all women who face unplanned pregnancies are irresponsible. I think this statement makes you true thoughts regarding women clear. This comment shows so little respect towards women. I'm appalled.

"You're number one priority is now your child, not your education, you don't have the same amount of time as you used to, you're going to miss classes due to doctor's appointments, if the pregnancy is bad you're going to miss classes because of that." - Less
Imagine someone said this about pregnant women in the workplace! That would be disgusting. And its equally disgusting to hear it said about university. Being pregnant does not guarentee that you will not be able to finish school so women should not suffer on the basis that they may not be successful. Many people believe that women are less likely to be successful in enigneering, does that mean my school should take pre-emptive measures and kick me out now, because I'm female? Clearly not, in the same vain these althletes and students should not be punished because they MAY not succeed.

I want to clarify to all the pro-lifers on here that most pro-choicers are genuinely concerned with women's rights and that I find coerced abortions tragic and awful. Feminist do NOT support pregnancy discrimination or coerced abortions and I find it so sad that many of you probably are starting to believe otherwise.

Sorry for the rant...

Posted by: th at May 25, 2007 5:13 PM


"I don't understand how you can say that you
support women when it is so obviously not the case."

I can totally understand why you'd think that of me given my apparent insensitivity here.

I do agree there are problems and in some cases society in general does not fairly accomadate the mothers... for example female scientist at research institutes ussually have to put off having kids until they have tenure... at which point many are now too old to have children. That's not right, and while discussing the problem with a peer, I actually advanced the idea that maybe these people should be starting families as undergraduates. I think too many people have this paradigm in there heads that they must first get the degree, then the job, then house, then the spouse, then the kids, etc... in that order, or it's going to be too difficult. Is it really easier though later? In reality, studies show that students who are married, even with kids, are more likely to complete their degree programs. Upon looking into it... by marrying, they've effectively doubled their support network. Suddenly two sets of parents are badgering them about getting it done, getting a job, helping them get that house, etc...

I really don't know what happened in your particular case. It sounds like the pregnancy was an accident (perhaps timing method given your feelings about BC), and that there was no way to meet accademic performance standards associated with your funding if you chose to keep the kid. That's really up to the people funding you though, and shouldn't be forced to fund you if they have legitimate concerns about your ability to get it done. There is no reason a state government though, clearly paying lip service to the demand for skilled/educated work force, not to mention family values, can't somehow accomadate mothers.. particularly single mothers... come to think of it, there are some programs.

Bottom line; private colleges and students are functioning in a competative environment, and if you've got curve ball, such as becoming pregnant, you going to need to move quickly on your toes,and either capitalize on it or mitigate... that's not society's responsibility... that's the mothers. While competitive, there are resources. In addition to the typical sources of funding for average students, there are ones specifically targeting mothers...

E.g...

Grants for Single Mothers
$30,000 Grants for Single Mothers Never Repay - Get Your Free Kit Now
SingleMothers.Free-Grant-Kit.com

Free US Grants For Women
Government Grants to Women for Business, Homes and Personal Need.
www.USAGovernmentGrants.Org

Women's Education Grants
Billions from the government and foundations sit unclaimed. (GG9)
www.equalitygrants.com

Raising a kid and going to school isn't going to be easy, but compared to average non-minority/special kid, it's most likely relatively easy to get the monitary support needed to make it happen.

Posted by: Cameron at May 25, 2007 5:30 PM


Less, 1:24p, said: "Why, exactly, is it weak for a woman to choose not to become pregnant? What's weak about knowing what she does and does not want to do with her body and her life?"

Less, it was you I was thinking of when I wrote pro-aborts on this site have complained pregnancy puts one in a weakened state. You've said it several times.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 5:31 PM


Feminist do NOT support pregnancy discrimination or coerced abortions and I find it so sad that many of you probably are starting to believe otherwise.

No, feminism supports equality. And how, exactly, is it equality when pregnant females are coddled and helped through college when they made the choice to remain pregnant? Would you do the same to a guy who chose to stay with his pregnant girlfriend?

Pregnancy is a natural occurrence. It isnít a sudden revelation that youíre better/more delicate/in need of more help than anyone else. If you want to be pregnant, thatís great, be pregnant: but donít demand help for a choice that you made. The world does not revolve around you and your growing belly. If you want to have an abortion, thatís great, have an abortion: but donít demand help for a choice that you made. The world does not revolve around you and your flat belly. See how it works?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 5:32 PM


Less, it was you I was thinking of when I wrote pro-aborts on this site have complained pregnancy puts one in a weakened state. You've said it several times.

Iím aware of that. Pregnancy does put one in a weakened state: listen to all the stories of women throwing up, swollen ankles, headaches, not being able to eat. I donít want to deal with that and have a career at the same time. Do you find something wrong with that, Jill? Am I less in your eyes because I donít want to be interviewing the local governor candidates while vomiting saltines?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 5:39 PM


You, dear Less, would not be vomiting saltines, you'd be vomiting pea soup.

Juuuuuust kidding... But I am cracking myself up here....

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 5:57 PM


Pea soup...whaaaaa?

Posted by: Rae at May 25, 2007 6:01 PM


Less,

Not every woman suffers this way during pregnancy. Symptons will mostly subside by the second trimester. Symptons vary from woman to woman, they were all different with each of my pregnancies. A weakened state? While pregnant, our foremothers were running households without any of the modern conveniences we can no longer manage without. They were working in the fields or in factories. Pregnant women have fought in battles and given birth in bomb shelters. Pregnant women endured and survived the horrors of slavery throughout the world. Throughout history pregnant women have borne, and continue to bear, great hardships we can't even fathom. A weakened state? The human race would have died out long ago if that were the case.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 6:04 PM


Rae, ever seen The Exorcist?

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 6:12 PM


cameron, my scholarship wasn't cut based on my performance, it was cut because I was no longer allowed to live on campus.

My tuition went down by about 1/3 but my scholarship was cut by 2/3. Additionally, my work study was eliminated as well as my meal plan.

It had nothing to do with my academic performance and everything to do with the fact that I was about to have a child.

I'm married, and our child was "planned". It was my first month off birth control, who knew we would get pregnant so fast?

BTW, I wasn't a christian at the time, and had no moral qualms with bc.

Thank you for clarifying your views.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 6:12 PM


My mom practically puked her guts out though nearly the entire duration of her pregnancy with my littlest brother. I had to "grow up" and help her around the house and keep an eye out on my younger brother as my dad was away on business a lot (3M SUCKS).

Posted by: Rae at May 25, 2007 6:12 PM


Rae,

3M? My stepfather worked for them for years. I recall he travelled a lot as well.
Your poor mom. I can empathize. My first pregnancy was very miserable as well.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 6:18 PM


Less,

You say " It isnít a sudden revelation that youíre better/more delicate/in need of more help than anyone else."

And then

" Pregnancy does put one in a weakened state: listen to all the stories of women throwing up, swollen ankles, headaches, not being able to eat."

It seems to me you have pretty conflicting views on pregnancy. Less, pregnant women need support. This is especially true when they are young and single. All that is being asked is that colleges make reasonable acommidations for parents on campus. No one is saying that you should get automatic "A's" the semester you deliver a baby.

All we're saying is that you shouldn't be penalized for NOT having an abortion. Don't pro-choice women support women who don't want to have an abortion but feel there is no other choice?

I believe th when he/she says that this is the case. The things you are saying are much more characteristic of a "pro-abortion" stance than anything resembling choice.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 6:18 PM


"Rae, ever seen The Exorcist?"


I have Jill, when I was young, it scared the "you know what" out of me, I think it still does....

Posted by: jasper at May 25, 2007 6:36 PM


Blegh, Jill, I donít like pea soup! Iíve never seen the Exorcist, so thereís a joke Iím probably missing here, but yeah.

Mary, the majority of women DO suffer this way through pregnancy, and there is a percentage who suffer this way through the duration of the pregnancy. I have no desire have my career compete with this. Thus, I have no desire to be pregnant. Is there something insidiously wrong with that?

Lauren, I understand now. Did you go to a private school? The majority of schools wonít cut your scholarship if youíre not on campus. I have not heard of ANY that will. Yours was probably an isolated incidence, as I havenít heard of any other cases where that happens.

All that is being asked is that colleges make reasonable accommodations for parents on campus.

If thatís all thatís being asked, I donít think anyone would disagree. But when it comes to asking colleges to providing improved prenatal care, I think thatís a bit much. Colleges are institutions of learning: they arenít there to provide free health care to everyone on campus. Itíd be great if they could, yes, but thatís not what theyíre there for. I have horrible food allergies, to the point where I can eat VERY little in the college cafeteria. Should I expect the college to provide me with other meals?

What was done to you was unfair, Iíd certainly agree. But you also have to understand that the majority of colleges arenít like that.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 6:44 PM


"However, some people still claim that there is no link between the 2. Very interesting!"

You know, rumor has it that wearing bras can cause an increased risk of breast cancer, too.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 6:46 PM


At least, that's what I read on various sites last night/early this morning.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 6:48 PM


"As I have said before, When you turn 18, you should be allowed to be sterilized permanently if that's what you want."

I agree.

And if a person does decide they want children after being sterilized...well, there's always adoption.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 6:51 PM


I did got to a private school. I understand that much of what I experienced was due to the small size of the institution. It still doesn't excuse their actions.

As for health services, yes they do. Part of your tuition covers health services. You should expect to get reasonable health care if you paid for it.

There is also the issue of insuranace. Some college insuranace policies cover the cost of abortion but not prenatal care. This happened at Yale and was one of the major catalysts for the pregnant and parenting students bill.

As for your food alergy, schools are required to take appropriate steps to avoid dangerous food reactions.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 6:56 PM


Less,

The majority usually have their symptoms subside or decrease by the second trimester. Whether or not you choose to be pregnant or why is no issue in my life. My point was that if pregnant women were so weakened, given the hardships pregnant woman have and continue to endure, the human race would have died out long ago.

Heather B.

I heard underwire bras were the culprit. Only the article where I read this also said that women who wear underwires 24/7 are at risk. There are actually women who do that? Whatever, I would cut down on the usage of underwires.
If nothing else, it will keep you from being patted down in the airport, like I was once! And not by some handsome young deputy, but by some crabby old gal!

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 7:01 PM


For dangerous food preparation, sure, but not because Iím allergic to various foods. I have a friend with severe gluten allergies, meaning that she canít eat any wheat products, and cross contamination can send her into anaphylaxis. The school isnít required to provide either of us special meals.

As far as Iím aware, my tuition covers room, board, classes, and a January term. If I have to go to the nurse, I have to pay for it. If I have to go to the on campus doctor, I have to pay for it. Planned Parenthood is far cheaper for me than to go to the campus doctor.

As far as Iím aware, colleges are required to have a general practitioner. S/He can get a referral from that doctor to an OB, but a college shouldnít be forced to provide an OB on staff. You arenít forced to buy college insurance; everyone I know stayed with their parentís insurance rather than going to their college insurance.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 7:04 PM


Mary,

I'd heard something about that as well. I may have to look into replacing the bras I do have seeing as they all have underwire. Unfortunately, the only brand I know of that provides the same support is Victoria's Secret and they're pretty darn expensive.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 7:26 PM


Heather B

Try cami tops. They're great. Very reasonably priced, comfortable and supportive. They're even nice for me. While I'm certainly not Dolly Parton, I am older than dirt and just slightly younger than God, so if they work for me they certainly will for you.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 7:53 PM


Lauren,
I am so sorry to hear of your situation with your scholarship.

In response to Less who stated:

"They do change. You're number one priority is now your child, not your education, you don't have the same amount of time as you used to, you're going to miss classes due to doctor's appointments, if the pregnancy is bad you're going to miss classes because of that. Having a child changes things, and I don't think it unfair that the circumstance of education changes as well."

Less:
Fist off, how do you know? You have never and sounds like will never give yourself the wonderful opportunity to find out.
Until someone comes up with an alternative solution to pro-create women will continue to bear that responsibility.

I think Lauren is a obviously a very intellegent woman who given the opportunity could have birthed a child and raised that child all while proving that she can cope with the demands of what it takes to earn the right to her scholarship. What a great role-model for women!! If everyone took your attitude, there would be no women working anywhere but rasing their family in the home. (Which by the way is the most demanding job I have ever loved to have.)


"Why should pregnant women be given preferential treatment at colleges? Why is it the college's responsibility to provide referals and education? If you choose to get prengnat and choose to keep the child, why is it everyone else's responsibility to cater to you?"

Again Less, I repeat myself. Until someone comes up with an alternative to pro-create women will continue to bear that responsiblility.

Maybe I missed something, but where was it stated that the college would have to give any preferential treatment to Lauren?

Is married housing preferencial or just alternative??

Posted by: Sandy at May 25, 2007 8:32 PM


Mary,

The cami tops...where do you get them? I have a few tank tops with the adjustable straps and a shelf bra built in, but maybe they're not all that great because they're from Wal-Mart?

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 8:34 PM


Heather B,

I think you can get them anywhere K-mart, Shopko, V's Secret. Check Penney's, Newport News, or Lerner's on line. That's fastest.

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2007 8:52 PM


Mary,

Thanks. For some reason, it seems a bit difficult to find any anymore at stores....

I think I'm going to invest in some of those bras without the underwire, but that won't be possible until after I've gotten a new apartment and have all the stuff I need.

Blah.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 8:57 PM


Until someone comes up with an alternative solution to pro-create women will continue to bear that responsibility.

Guess youíve never heard of test-tube babies?

All kidding aside, Iím aware the females procreate. But males generally share a bit of that, and if youíre going to give the female the chance to have all kinds of extras, why not the male?

I have no doubt that Lauren could have done both, and I do think that it was unfair what her school did. There are far better ways to handle the situation: I know my school has sort of a donít ask, donít tell policy. Theyíll give you brochures and referrals, and theyíll let you stay in whatever school housing provided, but no one is going to give you extra credit for being pregnant.

I know at the school Iím at, you are no longer allowed to live on campus and be married unless youíre a head resident. There are several off campus, school-controlled apartments, though, which are all options. Not all schools, not even most schools, are as unfair as Lauren described.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 25, 2007 9:00 PM


Heather B. That is a great idea!! If a person changes their mind, let them adopt.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 9:03 PM


Th, thank you for your input!

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 9:08 PM


I think so, Heather. Heh, feels weird typing out my own name referring to someone else.

Anyway, that's what I plan on doing. Right now I'm of the mindset that I don't ever want children. I realize that might change in the future, though.

But here's the thing. I really cannot stand children under the age of 5 or 6.

I 'unno. Hopefully I can find a doctor eventually (I'm thinking by the time I'm in my mid-20s) and persuade him/her that it's what I really want. I figure if my mind hasn't changed since I was about twelve...well...that's got to say something, right?

And if later I decide I want children...I'll adopt.

And all that made complete sense when I was saying it in my head.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 9:10 PM


Heather B., I know the feeling. Some of our laws are just backasswards. I do know of a married woman that had a tubal ligation at the age of 24. She is now in her late 40's. She told me point blank, "I don't really like kids, and I never wanted any." she continued; "My husband and I decided that I would get my tubes tied." She said "I have never regretted it." Hey, more power to ya sister.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 9:46 PM


Heather B.,oops, Let me clafify.. I know the feeling about typing to "yourself" LOL. Don't get me wrong. I do realize that some women will change their minds about sterilization. However, I think you're on to a great idea. I'd rather see someone get sterilized then keep having abortions. I know a woman who is a crack addict. She's had at least 9 abortions as well as 4 living kids. Gee, the perfct candidate for a tubal. To this day, she's still not "fixed." If I'm not mistaken, I think the government offered these women free sterilization. I'm not too sure how many of them took advantage of it though.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 10:00 PM


I really don't see why, if someone has never wanted children and is firm in that stance, why they shouldn't be allowed to voluntarily be sterilized. It's ridiculous. I'm not a big fan of kids, they make me uncomfortable.

Just because I'm not 20-something and already a mother or 40-something doesn't mean I'm any less capable of making that kind of decision.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 10:01 PM


Hell, if I was offered free sterilization, I'd take it.

I hate the fact that even if I can find a doctor to perform the surgery, it's still going to be incredibly costly.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 10:03 PM


Also Heather B., I feel that not all women are cut out to be mothers. How about the child abusing women? The same option is there for men. Have a vasectomy. I have heard that it is a relatively painless procedure. It works both ways. I know of lots of guys that "make the rounds." Some just keep impregnating women, and then all involved usually agree on abortion. A vasectomy would be a great idea.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 10:12 PM


I think it's like $5000.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 10:14 PM


"I think it's like $5000."

Seriously? That's craziness!

Wouldn't it maybe make more sense for it to be cheaper? If it's not covered by medical insurance, then only those with the money could afford it. And if that's the case...I don't know. It just doesn't seem fair.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 10:17 PM


My girlfriend had it done, but her insurance paid for it. She had 3 children. It covers your anesthesia too + the hospital staff/doctors have to get paid. I agree, it should be more affordable. My girlfriend said that she was released from the hospital that same evening following surgery.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 10:23 PM


That soon? I was under the impression that since it was a fairly invasive surgery that one would have to remain in the hospital a bit longer than that.

Hm. Guess I'd better get to work on that whole insurance deal.

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 10:27 PM


Maybe that's something people should be lobbying for. I mean, if more people were able to afford such things as tubal litigation (sp?), there would be fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions, right?

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 10:30 PM


Heather B. I do agree. That could be a great way to decrease abortions.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 10:56 PM


:)

Good to know we can agree on at least one thing, huh?

Posted by: Heather B. at May 25, 2007 11:25 PM


Yes, I'd rather have it that way. Go watch the Rosie/ Elisabet video, speaking of fighting.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 11:29 PM


Meant Rosie/ Elisabeth video.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 25, 2007 11:32 PM


Heather B,

If you have a tubal in the morning you should be going home in the afternoon. Its not that involved or complicated a procedure. When I was in training, the women who had babies at the Catholic hospital came to ours on Saturdays for their post partum tubals. We did several in a morning and either sent them back to the hospital that afternoon or home. I've never seen one that wasn't done on an outpatient basis, unless it was done a day or so after delivery.

Posted by: Mary at May 26, 2007 5:24 AM


Heather B, and TH, I'm thankful to see that some of you have not gone to the same extent as others here to condone pregnancy discrimination. :-)

Posted by: Bethany at May 26, 2007 7:07 AM


Yes, but if they keep the child, they have something keeping them from completeing their work to their fullest ability, wouldn't you agree? I'm sure you'd agree with the idea that kids take up quite a bit of your time. And frankly, the idea behind college is that you're there to learn: kids are going to impede that

Less, do you hold men to the same standard as women? If a man gets a woman pregnant, and steps up and decides to take care of this child, why wouldn't it be the same for him as for a woman?

Does the fact that the child is now a priority for this man mean that a man is incapable of completing his work to the fullest degree? If not, why is it this way for a woman?

Or do you, a self-proclaimed feminist, believe that all women who are pregnant with child and choose to keep such child are obligated to be a Stay at Home Mom, and give up any rights to education?


Pregnancy is a natural occurrence. It isnít a sudden revelation that youíre better/more delicate/in need of more help than anyone else. If you want to be pregnant, thatís great, be pregnant: but donít demand help for a choice that you made. The world does not revolve around you and your growing belly. If you want to have an abortion, thatís great, have an abortion: but donít demand help for a choice that you made. The world does not revolve around you and your flat belly. See how it works?

Wait a minute. Now you're claiming that making the choice to continue a pregnancy is a choice that a woman should take responsibility for.

Why is it that you can see being "responsible", when it is in support of your own morals, and you can force those morals on us.... but when it comes to us, no one is to force their morals about responsibility on you?

Why can't we say that if you make a choice to have sex, you should accept the responsibility if you become pregnant, but you can say that if we become pregnant, and decide to keep the child, we should accept responsibility or abort?

Why aren't women aren't as capable, in your opinion, as men in being able to take care of their children AND do well in college at the same time?

How is this a feminist idea?

Posted by: Bethany at May 26, 2007 7:24 AM


"No, feminism supports equality. And how, exactly, is it equality when pregnant females are coddled and helped through college when they made the choice to remain pregnant? Would you do the same to a guy who chose to stay with his pregnant girlfriend?'"

First of all, we weren't asking for women to be coddled we were asking for them to be accomodated. There is a big difference. You are replying as if we are advocating handing pregnant women degrees. We are not asking that they be graded differently or that they have any academic adjustments made. We are simply saying that they should have housing options open and that they should not lose their scholarship based on a temporary medical condition. I know my university will provide special housing for anyone who is HIV positive (or who has any other illness or disability that requires special housing) so why would they be unable to provide similar accomodations for women with children?

Secondly, feminists advocate for equality but also equity (which you may also have heard called substantive equality).

Equality means fighing for the exact same treatment.

Equity means fighting for treatment that has an end result of equality.

For example, if a company was to make a rule saying that any employee who becomes pregnant will immediately be fired. This rule is fine on the basis of equality because the company could argue that if a man somehow became pregnant, they would also be fired. However, from an equity perspective it is not okay because the rule targets women and will ONLY negatively affect women.

When a woman becomes pregnant in the workplace, her employer is not required to coddle her, however, her employer is required to accomodate her by giving her the required time off etc. It should be exactly the same in university.

Lastly, of course I think there should be supports for fathers who are supporting their children and her/his mother. If there were "married" student residences (I put married in quotations because I would expect they would also be for non-married parents) the fathers would obviously also be provided this option and if there were any other accomodations made regarding parenting rather than pregnancy, I would agree that the fathers should also be accomodated.

Our society is currently constructed for men, by men. Women should not be forced to live like men in order to be successful in our society. (and I'm not saying that the only way to be a true "woman" is by having children, I'm simply saying that we should be able to make that choice and not have that prevent us from actively participating in society).

Also, stuff like this really says a lot about society's respect for mothers and women in general. If society truly respected women we would embrace her choice to pro-create (just as I embrace a woman's choice not to pre-create and I would fight just as hard for that right). We would accomodate women (and men and I really think our society is ESPECIALLY lacking at supporting fathers) and make it easier. Women not having children is becoming a huge concern in many developed nations. I'm Canadian and within the next 10 years 25% of our workforce will be retiring, which is going to result in a huge labour shortage, because there simply isn't enough young people to fill the gap. It is obviously important for society for enable women to make the choice (and it must be a choice) to have children because our economy depends on it.

Now I want to be very clear, I am not saying women are obligated to pro-create for the betterment of society or that that is our true calling as women. I just think that having children is something that is very important to society, but we treat it as if these women and their children (the future workforce of tomorrow) are a burden on society, rather than a huge investment in the future.

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 7:52 AM


"Yes, but if they keep the child, they have something keeping them from completeing their work to their fullest ability, wouldn't you agree? I'm sure you'd agree with the idea that kids take up quite a bit of your time. And frankly, the idea behind college is that you're there to learn: kids are going to impede that"

Its not the universities job to ensure that students are putting 100% of their efforts into school. There are many students in university who are smart enough that they can do barely any work, and just drink and party all the time, and manage to just pass. Why should drinking and partying be an acceptable choice of a student's time when raising children is not? The university doesn't patrol local bars looking for students spending time on something other than studying because its none of their business. All they should be concerned with is a student's test scores and if a heavy partier/a mother is able to pass their exams, it shouldn't matter what they do outside of school. They should not pre-emptively kick out, or take away scholarships, from partiers or mothers.

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 8:01 AM


Thank you for the support everyone.

I wanted to point out to HeathrB that the Essure procedure is an in-office sterilization. It is actually *more* effective than typical tubal ligation, and has very little recovery time.

http://www.essure.com/

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 9:03 AM


Women should not be forced to live like men in order to be successful in our society. (and I'm not saying that the only way to be a true "woman" is by having children, I'm simply saying that we should be able to make that choice and not have that prevent us from actively participating in society).

TH, thank you for your excellent posts. I like this point best.

Posted by: Bethany at May 26, 2007 10:09 AM


TH,

How right you are. When feminists called abortion "necessary" to enable women to better function in society, did they ever stop to think how "anti_choice" that mentality really was?

Posted by: Mary at May 26, 2007 10:57 AM


Bethany, th, Mary: You're all making fabulous, authentically feminist points.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 11:15 AM


"How right you are. When feminists called abortion "necessary" to enable women to better function in society, did they ever stop to think how "anti_choice" that mentality really was?"

Whoa!! Slow down... I'm pro-choice! I do believe that the option of safe, legal abortions is absolutely necessary to enable women to have control over their lives. I believe that every woman should have options open to her so she can make the best choice for herself.

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 11:22 AM


th, you exemplify the honestly pro-"choice" position, as opposed to those who are pro-abortion, such as Less and Cameron, whom you called out on their anti-pregnant woman bias.

That said, Mary is right in her analysis. She is saying abortion is merely an attempt to be like men. Abortion is anti-feminist.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 11:34 AM


"That said, Mary is right in her analysis. She is saying abortion is merely an attempt to be like men. Abortion is anti-feminist."

Abortion is not an attempt to be like men. To say that implies that women are supposed to assume the stereotypical woman role and that this is ideal for all women.

I think that gender roles are very hurtful to society and that both the stereotypical male and female gender roles can be filled by either a man or a woman. Earlier when I said that women should not be forced to act like men to suceed what I meant, was not that it is unnatural for a woman to have what is stereotypically seen as "male" qualities, but rather, that stereotypical "female" qualities should not be seen as inferior to "male" qualities and that "women's work" should not be seen as inferior to "real work" (Just to clarify, I think that raising children, cooking and cleaning are all real work, unfortunately society doesn't seem to agree with me)

Having the ability to control one's own fertility/body is not a means of oppressing women or an attempt to become like men. It is simply about having control over one's life.

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 11:58 AM


TH,

I don't know how old you are, but you may be too young to remember the beginnings of the movement to legalize abortion. One of the arguments was that abortion would be the great equalizer between men and women, that it would better enable women to compete in the academic and work world, and if men need not be burdened with pregnancy, why should women. Believe me TH, over the years the feminists have changed their tune on this to be more accomodating but this was the feminist and pro-abortion mentality. Back then it wasn't "pro-choice" by the way, they simply called themselves pro-abortion. It was changed to 'pro-choice" to make it a little more palatable to the public.
Yes it is my opinion that at one time at least, the feminists and abortion advocates saw abortion as a means of making women equal to men. Women would have to conform to make society accept them, not the other way around. In my opinion, a truly "anti-choice" mentality.

Posted by: Mary at May 26, 2007 12:21 PM


Th:

Does the fact that the child is now a priority for this man mean that a man is incapable of completing his work to the fullest degree?

Yes, I think it would mean that.

Why aren't women aren't as capable, in your opinion, as men in being able to take care of their children AND do well in college at the same time?

If two people make the choice to have a child and keep it and take care of it, they are less capable of completing their education because of that child. The gender doesnít matter, frankly. A pregnant woman is less capable, just as a man with a girlfriend who is pregnant is less capable.

There are people at college who put that degree above everything else: if you put something above your education, youíre automatically going to be less capable than those people.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 12:27 PM


Whoa, double post, sorry about that! Jill, you can delete that if you want. Th, I actually meant to reply the following to you:

First of all, we weren't asking for women to be coddled we were asking for them to be accommodated.

Iíd agree, as Iíve said several times and you seem to be ignoring. Iíll bold it this time, so perhaps its easier to read. What Laurenís school did was unfair. Kicking pregnant women out of dorm housing shouldnít happen, and if it absolutely has to happen, the school should work with the girl to find another place of living.

Special housing for students would require all kinds of funding to build: and guess who has to pay for that? Thatís right, the remainder of the students. Tuition would increase from its already insanely high point, and who wants that? Wouldnít it just be easier for the schools to do what they should be doing all along: not treating pregnant women as though theyíre contagious. Let pregnant women live in the dorm! It isnít hurting anyone! In most cases, married students are required to live off campus: why is this wrong? It doesnít impact their student status in the vast majority of cases.

Regarding your workplace example, what happens when the work is physical? Perhaps a woman is construction. What would the employer do then? As I understand it, intense physical stress can hurt the fetus: the woman, then, would have to have nine months off. That leaves the employer out someone for nine months. Depending on the job, it can take three months to train someone for the position, so temp agencies arenít exactly the best option.

Now, Iím not advocating pregnancy discrimination, or whatever. Iím just saying be realistic! Laurenís example could possibly have been avoided if she had looked up the schoolís policies regarding pregnant students before she had gotten pregnant. What happened was unfair, thatís not deniable, but it is so much better to avoid problems such as these than. The above example could have been avoided if the woman had informed the employer of her intentions and had someone trained to fill her place, so that when she did eventually become pregnant, her employer wasnít left in the lurch.

Women not having children is becoming a huge concern in many developed nations.

In most cases, thatís because the women choose not to have children or to marry later. I know in Italy (from experience, I lived there) that women choose to stay single longer, marry later, and not have children. It isnít as though society is forcing women to stay childless: some women honestly donít have children. The pressure to have children has been removed.

I embrace a woman's choice not to pre-create and I would fight just as hard for that right

The majority of people donít. Look at some of the comments just on this blog: either you have children, or you remain childless and get sterilized. There isnít room to change your mind in that equation.

There are many students in university who are smart enough that they can do barely any work, and just drink and party all the time, and manage to just pass.

Yup, and I would support the universityís decision to kick those students out as well. I know several students in my college who were suspended for that very reason. I know frats and sororities who have gotten their charters revoked because they held constant parties.

They should not pre-emptively kick out, or take away scholarships, from partiers or mothers.

If you specifically sign something that requires you to get a certain grade point average, for example, and you canít make it because of either of these activities, Iíd support the removal of the scholarship. If you sign a lifestyle contract (I know several private religious schools that have these) that precludes drinking: if a school catches you drinking, youíre out. Do you not support that? If you sign a scholarship letter that indicates that your performance cannot be impaired, by becoming a mother or drinking or what have you, why should pregnancy suddenly exempt you from completing your end of the bargain?

If you donít sign a contract that specifically mentions non-impaired performance, than of course removing the scholarship is wrong in the case of pregnancy. Example: Lauren sounds like she didnít sign such a contract. Thus, what the school did was unfair.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 12:28 PM


pro-abortion, such as Less and Cameron, whom you called out on their anti-pregnant woman bias.

Jill, Iím just against treating pregnant women like theyíre the savior of the human race, or something. Theyíre women. With something in them. Theyíre not more special or more rare or more anything than any of the other millions of human beings on this planet. They're just pregnant. They should be treated like anyone else: kicking them out of dorms is unfair; it isn't as though pregnancy is contagious.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 12:29 PM


Less, the pregnant and parenting student bill gives grants to institutions to fulfil its requirements. Tuition hikes have nothing to do with this.

Also less. Pregnant women *are* the saviors of the human race. Like it or not, for our society to continue, we need women to have babies.

This statement-

"If two people make the choice to have a child and keep it and take care of it, they are less capable of completing their education because of that child. The gender doesnít matter, frankly. A pregnant woman is less capable, just as a man with a girlfriend who is pregnant is less capable."

Seems to imply that you would perfer no person ever had children because it makes them less "capable".

There was a religious cult that thought the same. Naturally, it died out after one genration. Do you really believe this? I'm sorry but your contempt twoards parents is shocking.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 12:46 PM


Less, from what I've been able to assess from your posts, you want pregnant women to be treated no differently than nonpregnant men. It's just not possible. One of the genders has to gestate new members of the human race, and it is women.

Little League boys wear cup protectors. Little League girls don't. Should we equalize this situation by disallowing boys to wear them?

Most women wear bras to accomodate the midsection of their torsos. Most men don't. Should we equalize the situation by disallowing women to wear bras?

I mean, come on, Less. Would you kick a mare that has just delivered a foal and tell her to get back to the field?

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 12:48 PM


Less,

"Regarding your workplace example, what happens when the work is physical?"

I am not familiar with Italian laws but I know in Canada, regardless of the job, a woman cannot loose her job because she is pregnant even if she is unable to do the work for the entire duration of her pregnancy. This is because, pregnancy is a temporary medical condition and you cannot fire someone based on a medical condition, unless it is permanent (which pregnancy is not) and directly prevents them from doing the job.

"I know in Italy (from experience, I lived there) that women choose to stay single longer, marry later, and not have children. It isnít as though society is forcing women to stay childless: some women honestly donít have children."

I agree, and I think its great that women have those options and I fully support women making those choices. What I was referring to are women who choose not to have kids or to have less kids than they would like ONLY because they don't think it is possible to achieve their other goals and care for children. I know many people who only want to have 1 or 2 children or who want to have children much later in life because they know that makes it much easier to succeed in today's society. What I was saying, is that we need to find ways to facilitate women having children and continuing to pursue their other dreams. While society is not forcing women to stay childless, society it making it a huge challenge to balance with other aspirations.

"Yup, and I would support the universityís decision to kick those students out as well. I know several students in my college who were suspended for that very reason. I know frats and sororities who have gotten their charters revoked because they held constant parties."

Okay, what if instead of drinking and partying, these students were watching too much TV... or spending too much time with their loved ones... or spending too much time training for a sport? Would it be within the universities jurisdiction to police these activies since they take away from a student's focus on academics? I sure wouldn't want to go to a university where I had to prove that I had no life outside of academics.

"If you sign a scholarship letter that indicates that your performance cannot be impaired, by becoming a mother or drinking or what have you, why should pregnancy suddenly exempt you from completing your end of the bargain?"

I think with pregnancy, it would be fair to defer the scholarship until after she had given birth, if she was unable to participate in the sport for the duration of her pregnancy. If after giving birth, she was not longer able to achive at her sport, that too would be fair grounds to taking away the scholarship. I'm saying its not fair to take the scholarship away because one is assuming she will be forever incapacitated by becoming pregnant.

Also, I don't think putting a requirement into a contract saying that one cannot not have any medical conditions which would temporarily prevent her/him from participating in the sport is fair and if the contract specifically states pregnancy, rather than talking about all medical conditions, then that is discrimination (at least in Canada it is).

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 12:51 PM


Seems to imply that you would prefer no person ever had children because it makes them less "capableÖĒ Do you really believe this? I'm sorry but your contempt twoards parents is shocking.
It isnít as though Iím contemptuous towards parents: I just have a realistic view of what it takes to raise kids. Itís going to take you putting your kids above other priorities, and one of these should be education. Iím not saying people canít do it at the same time. Iím not even saying scholarships should always be revoked if you get pregnant. I am saying that comparatively, youíre going to be less capable if you have kids versus people without kids. Thatís just how it is. If you have kids, youíll have to work harder to get your education.

Jill, differences in physical anatomy arenít the question here. Pregnant women are just that: pregnant women. They should be allowed to be in dorms, they should be allowed to be in school, they should be given scholarships just like everyone else. Being pregnant should not give you a license to get special amenities not afforded to other students. You should be accommodated, not raised on a pedestal.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 12:54 PM


Again Less, No one is saying that we should give parents automatic degrees or A's for the semester their child is born.

We're saying that they should be given the same opportunities as non-parents. They should be allowed to live on campus, allowed their meal plans, allowed to continue their work studies ect.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 1:01 PM


Pregnancy is a temporary medical condition and you cannot fire someone based on a medical condition, unless it is permanent (which pregnancy is not) and directly prevents them from doing the job.

Donít you think that leaves the employer in the lurch, though? Whatís the employer supposed to do, particularly if the job is one that requires a high degree of training, or is particularly specialized? The woman comes in suddenly announcing that sheís pregnant, and there goes a worker for almost a year. Surely the laws can be changed so that the employer doesnít get a raw deal, but the very real need for time off during pregnancy and birth can be met.

While society is not forcing women to stay childless, society it making it a huge challenge to balance with other aspirations.

And how could this be changed? Having kids is a big deal, and it will change your whole life. Your time is going to be divided if you work and take care of children: I donít see how this could be changed. I think there are ways to balance it, I just think that social pressure, not necessarily societal construction, keeps women from doing that. I know that my fiancť and I have discussed it, and if we ever do change our minds and want kids, heíll be a stay at home dad. His career is much more suited to that, and his personality is infinitely better for it. But for some reason, being a stay at home dad is looked down upon by society. Why is this?

I don't think putting a requirement into a contract saying that one cannot not have any medical conditions which would temporarily prevent her/him from participating in the sport is fair

Thatís how it is in most sports contracts. If, for any reason, for any length of time, you are unable to participate due to a medical condition not resulting from your active participation in the sport, your scholarship is revoked. And what about the kid after birth? College sports take huge amounts of time, from practicing and games and traveling and team activities. What will the kid do then? If it was only pregnancy that was the issue, Iíd fully support revoking the scholarship for the duration of the pregnancy, as the woman cannot compete during that time. But what about afterward?

They should be allowed to live on campus, allowed their meal plans, allowed to continue their work studies ect.

Basically, Lauren, they should be treated like regular students? I wouldnít disagree. As I said, kicking students out because of pregnancy is unfair, and removing pregnant women from the dorm is also unfair. Of course they should be allowed to live on campus, and have meal plans, and continue working.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 1:04 PM


Less, you've been blogging here for quite some time. I'm concluding your aversion to personally being pregnant is more than that. It seems you are actually hostile to pregnancy and pregnant women in general.

I'm finding it hard to believe there is not something in your past that has brought you to this place. I'm not a psychiatrist - you're getting what you pay for - but I just don't think your response to pregnancy is normal. I'm not trying to slam you. You know I appreciate your posts, even if we disagree. But I have to say I think there's more going on with you than meets the eye, IMO.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 1:16 PM


Less, all anyone is asking for is for pregnant and parenting students (and employees) to be treated as though they are making a contribution to society.

Posted by: Lauren Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 1:21 PM


I'm not hostile to pregnancy and pregnant women, Jill, and nothing in my past has made me particularly averse to the condition. I have two sisters-in-law and several aunts who have been pregnant and given birth, and I was present at one of these. It's a beautiful thing.

But ultimately, most mammals procreate the same way. Why should pregnant women be treated like living goddesses? They should certainly be given the same rights as other students: anything else would be tremendously unfair. But why should they be given more?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 1:22 PM


"And how could this be changed? Having kids is a big deal, and it will change your whole life. Your time is going to be divided if you work and take care of children: I donít see how this could be changed."

This could be changed in many ways. Here are a few:
-more tolerance towards stay-at-home fathers
-less discrimination in the workplace on the basis of marital status, pregnancy and gender (in Canada, this is illegal, but of course it still happens)
-flexible work hours (this is already becoming more and more common)
-more part time work and job sharing
-reduced work weeks
-compressed work weeks
-on-site daycares at work and schools (obviously this wouldn't work for every company, but when I was an infant, I went to a daycare at my mothers's work that was only for employees' children and she was able to visit me at lunch time, and women could take breaks throughout the day to breast feed their children if they wanted and my high school had an on-site daycare, which was not only for students' chilren, but there were a few students who had children who were able to use that daycare and visit their children between classes or at lunch.. it was really awesome for them and made finishing high school much easier)
-universal, government-funded daycare (and I don't want to hear about how financially unreasonable this is... because I'm imagining an ideal world :) )
In the province of Quebec there is government-subsidized daycare available at $7/day... stuff like that is awesome!
-universal health care (which we already have here in Canada! So it is possible!)
-In France, I've heard that they have 24-hour daycare type places where you can drop off your children (for free) for a couple hours whenever you need to to run errands

Obviously, many of these would be very costly and most of them would require substantial changes within society, but I think there are certainly ways that society can be more parent friendly.

Men have been fathers for as long as women have been mothers, and they don't have to sacrifice their careers to fill this position, why should women be left to make the sacrifice? I will never accept having to choose between being a mother and having a successful career.

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 1:27 PM


Iíd certainly agree with the stay at home fathers bit! And flexible work weeks would be great, and on-site daycare is a wonderful idea. Honestly, your ideas are great, and I think that if they could be implemented it would go a long way in helping. But the thing is, most governments are far more interested in spending money on wars and prison (did you know the US spent double the amount on education on prisons? How sad is that!) than anything that, you know, benefits citizens. If there was a way to get all of these implemented, it would be great.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 1:35 PM


I agree that the current spending habits of many governments are very discouraging, however, ultimately, the people run the goverment and not vice versa so I believe, if people's values change it will eventually be reflected through government policies.

Posted by: th at May 26, 2007 1:39 PM


"I wanted to point out to HeathrB that the Essure procedure is an in-office sterilization"

Thanks for the information, Lauren :).

...It was Lauren who mentioned it, right? Gah. I hate being up so "early".

Posted by: Heather B. at May 26, 2007 1:40 PM


Less, 1:22p, said: "I have two sisters-in-law and several aunts who have been pregnant and given birth, and I was present at one of these. It's a beautiful thing."

No, that's not how you portrayed the experience in a previous post. Be honest.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 5:58 PM


Jill, I have no desire to undergo birth/pregnancy, and don't find newborns particularly attractive. But seeing my aunts and sisters in law happy was beautiful.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 26, 2007 10:56 PM


Well, you did say you were repulsed by the newborn...

....and you gave the impression that you felt the birth itself was rather grotesque. I can't remember the exact wording, but I'll look and see if I can find it. Things like that kind of make it difficult for us to believe that you feel birth is a beautiful thing...

Feeling happy for your aunt because she is happy is not the same as thinking birth itself is a beautiful thing.

Posted by: Bethany at May 27, 2007 7:29 PM


But ultimately, most mammals procreate the same way. Why should pregnant women be treated like living goddesses?

Who has asked that they be treated like goddesses, Less?

Posted by: Bethany at May 27, 2007 8:00 PM


True enough. Watching a birth is one of the few things that makes me ill. Newborns look like little aliens to me. But if a mom wants the kid and is happy to have it, that's pretty beautiful. It isn't for me, but if it makes someone that happy, that's beautiful.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 27, 2007 11:21 PM


I never expected to be treated like a goddess while pregnant. I went to work and did my job like everybody else. No special treatment was given.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 28, 2007 8:19 AM


Less, I agree with you that there are some not so pleasant aspects to birth. The blood, the water, the fact that women sometimes poop when they are having a baby, the catheter, the internal monitering, etc... all of those things are understandably gross. My husband gets kind of faint when participating in our baby's births...at the last one I told him to just stay by my side and not to look. And he appreciated that.

But this is not what makes birth beautiful. The beautiful part of birth is that a new life is being brought into the world. Whether that life looks like an alien or looks like a perfect doll, it's a life which has just begun. This is that child's first day to experience the outside world, and for the mother to see her child...it's quite an event for both the child and the mother.

And you're right, it made your aunt so happy. To be a part of something so much larger than yourself, and to be one who can bring another human being onto this earth is such a blessing. To see that little one who has been inside of you for 9 months is absolutely incredible. To be able to hold him, kiss him, feed him, cherish him, smell him, feel that tiny soft baby skin... it's something that you can't quite understand the magnitude of until it is your very own child.
I am looking forward to the time I can experience it again. Can you tell?

Posted by: Bethany at May 28, 2007 10:43 AM


pregnancy often is good for a woman and a man also. It can force a man to think as a grown man with responsibility (with the exception of Cameron of course) women can often concentrate more on one thing, couples and families put their priorities in line to prepare for a child.


Are colleges afraid that pregnant women will not study well or what? Far as I know they don't keep an eye on drunk kids, anyone getting kicked out of school for being drunk? Much more hinderance to a person than being pregnant. I've been pregnant six times and been able to take care of my family and do many other things in the community and church. A lot more than most 18-22 year olds could handle, especially without whining.

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 12:19 AM


Luv, I've known more kids to get kicked out of school for drinking than I have for being pregnant.

That's great you want kids. I don't. Just because you can pop out seven of 'em doesn't mean I should or want to or ever will. My priorities are my significant other and my career, and that's how it's going to stay. Children just don't factor in.

Bethany, I've seen birth, and find it absolutely disgusting. It's not something I ever want to go through, and if by some horrible unfortunate coincidence I have to, I will have a c-section and not allow my boy to be there.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 29, 2007 2:26 PM


My question was, has anyone gotten kicked out of school for "being drunk" or lost their scholarship? Not "for drinking" continuously. It's a question of whether or not they are learning, I would think it would be much easier to learn while pregnant than while drunk. But then again I've never been drunk so I guess I don't really know!

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 2:33 PM


Less, I'm curious why you wouldn't allow your boy to be there?

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 2:34 PM


maybe it's better to compare it to having a job while you're in school. Do you lose your scholarship if you have a job?

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 2:37 PM


Yes, luv, several students from my school have lost their scholarships/gotten kicked out for being drunk constantly. One of my very good friends was kicked out and forced to go to rehab. It isn't as uncommon as you'd think.

I'd not want anyone to be there if I was somehow unfortunately having a child. It's disgusting, and I don't want anyone else to have to see that, nor do I want anyone to see me in such a grotesque condition.

I actually have heard of a few scholarships that you would loose if you also got a full-time jobs. Most of them are research scholarships, but there are a few regular ones.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 29, 2007 3:16 PM


Here are a few pictures of me while in labor, and right after my last baby was born. I just thought I'd share since we're talking about newborns.

http://www.preciousinfants.com/noahvincent.htm


Posted by: Bethany at May 29, 2007 4:54 PM


beautiful bethany! It is an incredible experience!

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 4:58 PM


Thank you! :) I totally agree, there is no experience like it!


Posted by: Bethany at May 29, 2007 5:03 PM


It is something I'm going to miss.

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 5:08 PM


part of me wants to keep having kids but I told my mom that I have to stop sometime! :) I look forward to our family growing up together and being able to do things that you can't do with an infant.

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 5:10 PM


I'm glad you both enjoyed it. Since both of you wanted children, I'm glad you were able to have them, and that your births weren't too traumatizing.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 29, 2007 10:28 PM


Less, I've seen one traumatizing birth and experienced a miscarriage.

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 29, 2007 10:41 PM


I know that Bethany has experienced a miscarriage as well, but neither of you seem particularly phased. Am I wrong in assuming that, as both of you characterized the experience as incredible, you didn't enjoy it?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 29, 2007 11:58 PM


Bethany, I just got a chance to view your pics. Absolutely beautiful. I just wanted to reach through my screen and cuddle your adorable baby. It/birth is an experience like no other. It's awesome. I was nervous but so excited! Labor is an experience that made me feel like I could really concur anything. It's kinof hard to explain.

Posted by: Heather4life at May 30, 2007 6:20 AM


I know that Bethany has experienced a miscarriage as well, but neither of you seem particularly phased. Am I wrong in assuming that, as both of you characterized the experience as incredible, you didn't enjoy it?

What in the world is that supposed to mean, Less?

Can you not see a difference in the loss of a child, and the joy of bringing a new life into the world?

I am certain that luvmy5kids has been grieving her miscarriage just as much as I have mine. You never get over the loss of a child. The tears become less severe, but you never forget that baby, and sometimes it just hits you how much it hurts. Other days you go along just fine as though nothing was wrong.

It was an incredible experience, by the way. Just not a very happy one. Seeing that tiny life before my eyes was astounding. But I do know that God had a purpose in my baby's short life, and that is the one thing that keeps me comforted through it all.

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 6:58 AM



I'm glad you both enjoyed it. Since both of you wanted children, I'm glad you were able to have them, and that your births weren't too traumatizing.

I think you're missing the point, Less. The labor is never fun. I do not look forward to the labor. My first labor was induced by pitosin, and I had those unnaturally strong contractions for 48 hours, without being allowed to eat or drink. For me, it was pretty scary and very painful...yet, since I had never had a birth before, I didn't know it was abnormal to be in labor so long, so I accepted it without question.
I went through an incredible amount of pain during that time.

The part that was amazing and wonderful was the moment I got to hold the baby I had labored for all of that time, and waited for those 9 months.
Nothing compares to holding a precious newborn for the first time.

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 7:02 AM


Heather, thank you!

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 7:03 AM


Let me rephrase that: Nothing compares to holding your own precious newborn for the first time.

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 7:03 AM


"I know that Bethany has experienced a miscarriage as well, but neither of you seem particularly phased. Am I wrong in assuming that, as both of you characterized the experience as incredible, you didn't enjoy it? "

wow less, where do you come upn with things like that?! How rude! And mean! I guess I am to assume that you have never been through anything painful in your life because you don't mention it every five minutes. Exactly how would you like to see us "phased" by losing a child that we loved!

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 30, 2007 9:26 AM


I donít understand the grieving process of miscarriages, but thatís not what I was speaking of. I was saying that, despite the troubles of pregnancy, both of you seem to have come through (relatively) unscathed and remember the experience as positive. I wasnít meaning anything particularly rude by it, I just find it interesting that you view it in a positive light.

I cannot imagine pregnancy and labor being worth that: if I ever want kids, I will adopt.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 10:03 AM



I cannot imagine pregnancy and labor being worth that: if I ever want kids, I will adopt.


Less....If that is really true, wouldn't you be willing to consider getting your tubes tied instead of relying on birth control pills and condoms?

You apparently feel (from things you have said in the past) in the back of your mind that there's a chance you'd like to become pregnant one day.

Which is it?

You never want to become pregnant, and would only choose to adopt?
Or is there is a chance that one day you might really want to have a child on your own?

It seems, from everything you've said on this subject, that you cannot make up your mind on this.

I donít understand the grieving process of miscarriages, but thatís not what I was speaking of. I was saying that, despite the troubles of pregnancy, both of you seem to have come through (relatively) unscathed and remember the experience as positive. I wasnít meaning anything particularly rude by it, I just find it interesting that you view it in a positive light.

Less, the reason we remember the experience of childbirth as positive is because it is the first day we were able to meet our children face to face! It is the very moment they are brought into the outside world...the first time they get to open their eyes and see their mother and father.
It's a moment that most mothers cherish, no matter what troubles they go through in order to have a baby.

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 11:01 AM


You cannot make up your mind on this.

Which is exactly why I don't want to get my tubes tied. If there's even a chance that I may ever change my mind, I'd be out of luck, and I'm not going to do that to myself. Right now I find pregnancy repulsive. Who knows if that's how I'm going to feel ten years from now?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 11:20 AM


So are you saying that you lack the maturity at this time to make a life changing decision like sterilization? But you without a doubt have the maturity to know for sure that 10 years after aborting you wouldn't regret not having kept the child?

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 11:24 AM


I know without a doubt that I could make the decision to have an abortion because it would ruin any plans I have for the future if I did not abort. That is not something I'm willing to give up. If, however, I do choose later in life to have a child, I want to be able to make that choice. It isn't that I don't have the maturity, I just don't know what life will bring me at this point.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 11:35 AM


Why would you have to give up all plans if you became pregnant, Less? You yourself have said that your job will not require that you are childless, just that it would make it a little more difficult to be focused and devoted entirely to your job.
Is there no way that you could possibly be capable of balancing the two, in your eyes? How is this pro-woman? Don't you think that your saying this implies that you are less capable than a man? I do. Men are able to balance their careers and children all the time.
I know many women who are balancing their careers and their children, and they are doing fine at both. Granted, I personally think it would be better for their children if they stayed at home with them more often ( however, for some women, it's a necessity, in order for them to provide for their children, and I understand and appreciate that). , but at least they gave their child a chance at life, which is more than an aborted child has.

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 2:01 PM


You must also remember, Bethany, that I am still in school: I donít want to risk my future education on that. I want to devote myself fully to my career; it, along with my fiance, is my top priority. As it has horrible hours, a chance of bodily harm, and is a male-dominated profession, becoming pregnant this early on in the career would kill any chance I have of succeeding. Thus, any plans I have of being particularly well-known would be ruined.

It isnít the children thatís the problem: balancing children and my career wouldnít be particularly difficult, particularly as my fiance wouldnít mind being a stay at home dad. Pregnancy, however, is a far greater challenge, and one that I have no desire to undertake. I refuse to spend nine months out of my life unable to do what I love because of it. If there happens to be a time later when my mind changes and circumstances are favorable, great: that might happen, I just donít know. But right now, Iím not willing to give up what I want to do for that.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 2:17 PM


Do you really think pregnancy hinders you that much? Less, I had morning sickness that lasted all day long with all of my pregnancies, for the first four months, and yet I was still capable of getting everything I needed to do done, the vomiting would keep itself at bay with certain things like "Morning Sickness Magic" (a combination of ginger, b-12 and other such things), gingerale, and making sure my stomach had at least a cracker in it at all times. It also helped to make sure to eat a cracker before sitting up in the morning. I was able to paint a mural for our church at 4 months pregnant...after that, I was able to plant a garden, paint a few murals around the house, travel and go on vacation twice, remodel different portions of the house (remember the burst of pregnancy energy we were talking about earlier?), take all the bricks out of the pathway to our house, chop the roots under them, and then lay down the bricks again and arrange them, help my father in law install the water pipes for their new trailer, and do all this....in just one pregnancy (my last one) and still keep the house clean! And my baby was induced 3 weeks early at a whopping 9 lb 2 oz, so all that exercise didnt harm him one bit.
If anything, I think your pregnancy would make you MORE capable of getting the job done, not less.
I dont know who gave you this idea that pregnancy is such a terrible thing that just makes you totally incapable of doing anything, but I can tell you for a fact...it doesn't...

(Of course, I do know there are exceptions, for instance if you have some sort of uncommon problem with which you might need bedrest.)

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 2:28 PM


Here's me 4 months preggy, painting the mural for the church:
http://www.sketchesbybethany.net/baptistry15.jpg

And believe me, that took some stretching too!

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 2:30 PM


Bethany, could you pull all nighters to finish up a paper? Run on two hours of sleep to make sure that a story gets in on time? Struggle through knots of people to make sure you get to the front of the pack to get in an interview question? Pregnancy would be a great impediment to my career. I donít want to deal with it.

There are other reasons, of course: I find the idea of something growing in me to be disturbing, I donít want to contribute to the overpopulation, and Iíd frankly rather enjoy life with my husband and be able to do whatever I want with my husband, whenever. I donít want to be pregnant.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 2:45 PM


Bethany, could you pull all nighters to finish up a paper? Run on two hours of sleep to make sure that a story gets in on time? Struggle through knots of people to make sure you get to the front of the pack to get in an interview question? Pregnancy would be a great impediment to my career. I donÔŅĹt want to deal with it.

Why wouldn't I? Are you saying that pregnancy would make me less of a woman? Or are you saying that you are less capable than I am?

There are other reasons, of course: I find the idea of something growing in me to be disturbing, I donÔŅĹt want to contribute to the overpopulation, and IÔŅĹd frankly rather enjoy life with my husband and be able to do whatever I want with my husband, whenever. I donÔŅĹt want to be pregnant.

Finally. Now we can get back to the original point Jill was trying to make, which was...

"Less, you've been blogging here for quite some time. I'm concluding your aversion to personally being pregnant is more than that. It seems you are actually hostile to pregnancy and pregnant women in general."

To which you replied that it was untrue, and that you didn't have an aversion to pregnancy and that birth was beautiful...and thus this whole conversation was started.

By the way, I don't buy into the overpopulation crisis thing... all 6 billion plus people on the planet, with 1,000 sq ft each, could easily fit into the state of Texas with at least a billion square feet left over.
Here's an equation I found which will help you prove it to yourself:

* Texas has 262,015 square miles of land
* Which equals 7,304,558,976,000 square feet (262,015 x 27,878,400*) in Texas
* Each person gets 1,000 square feet of land
* The world population was about 6 billion people (as of 1999)
* 6 billion x 1,000 square feet per person equals 6,000,000,000,000 square feet needed

**One square mile equals 27,878,400 square feet

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 3:04 PM


I find the idea of something growing in me to be disturbing,

By the way, I'd find it pretty disturbing to have something growing inside me, if it wasn't a human. :-P

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 3:06 PM


Bethany, do you have any idea how quickly the population has grown since 1999? As of February, there are 6.7 billion people in the world. Sure, you could cram them all into Texas, but what sort of life would they lead? Would there be jobs enough for them? Who would feed them all? Who would clothe them all? What about medical care, jobs, basic human necessities?

I donít have a problem with other people being pregnant; I frankly donít care. I think having children is selfish, sure, but Iím not going to challenge your desire to have children, itís instinct and it doesnít impact me. I, however, will choose not to become pregnant and likely not to have biological children. Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend or accept?

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 3:26 PM


Yes, Less, I'm aware of the current population count.

Do you really think I was suggesting the whole world should move into Texas? Did you not get that that was said to prove a point about the size of the world and it's ability to contain the entire population quite well?

Do you realize that Texas is only one state out of the USA, and a very small portion of the entire world? If the ENTIRE world's population could squeeze into Texas with that much room, how much more could they easily fit into the whole world with plenty of space? That was my point. We're not going to run out of room. I'm not a doomsdayer.

I think having children is selfish, sure, but IÔŅĹm not going to challenge your desire to have children, itÔŅĹs instinct and it doesnÔŅĹt impact me.

You think having children is selfish. lol

First of all, Margaret Sanger would be proud.

Second of all, if you don't think it's selfish to put your own WANTS above the life of a child, it's laughable that you would even consider using the word selfish to describe anyone else.

Selfishness is caring more about yourself than others. Unselfishness is being more concerned with the welfare of others.

I, however, will choose not to become pregnant and likely not to have biological children.
Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend or accept?

It wouldn't, if it was true.

Look, you come here, to a PRO-LIFE blog, and state that in the event that you become pregnant, you are definitely going to abort your baby. And then, for some mysterious reason, you expect all the pro-lifers here, who believe in science when it says that unborn babies are human beings from conception, and as such have a right to life,
to just say, "Oh yeah, Less, I see where you're coming from...totally!" I mean, how unreasonable can one get?

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 5:23 PM


Less,
what is up with "wanting children is selfish" If women weren't pregnant then the human race would have ended thousands of years ago!! Having children is the most unselfish thing you can do!!

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 30, 2007 6:52 PM


But didn't you know, Luvmy5kids? We're destroying the planet by creating little monster demon spawns who are eating up the earth's resources! :-P Apparently the earth has been around for "billions and billions" of years...but all of a sudden, in our incredibly small time span, it's up to US, to control the population and kill all the unborn babies, to make sure that the earth is safe...cause the earth can't take care of itself anymore and it sure can't possibly handle over 6 billion people! No no no, we're totally ruining everything that the earth tried to accomplish in the last billion kazillion years! We must destroy! We must destroy!


Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 7:05 PM


Hee Hee!

Posted by: luvmy5kids at May 30, 2007 7:19 PM


@Bethany: Have you been watching "Destroy All Humans" again? :-p That is such a silly film.

Posted by: Rae at May 30, 2007 8:27 PM


I don't know if I've seen the movie, but I've played the video game, and it's pretty funny!

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 8:49 PM


@Bethany: I love watching my brother play that game...it cracks me up. :D

Perhaps it was the movie "Mars Attacks" I was thinking of...

Posted by: Rae at May 30, 2007 9:20 PM


This one?
http://arbredespossibles2.free.fr/SF/Images/MarsAttacks2.jpg

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 9:23 PM


Bethany -

I just looked at your pictures of delivering Noah. How in the (*&& did you look so good?

Posted by: Valerie Author Profile Page at May 30, 2007 10:02 PM


hehe that's so sweet of you to say, Valerie!

Posted by: Bethany at May 30, 2007 10:11 PM


@Bethany: Yup, that's the one alright. That movie was so spectacularly horrible. :D

Darn, I wish M*A*S*H was on...I need me some old-school Alan Alda.

Posted by: Rae at May 30, 2007 10:26 PM


Alright then, Bethany, why did you have children? With 6.7 billion of us and counting, we really donít need that. Because you wanted to be a parent? Thatís what you wanted, isnít it, and thus selfish, particularly as there are children waiting to be adopted in countries all over the world. You could have been a parent to any of them, but you instead chose to have a biological child. Your reason behind having children is what makes it selfish.

Selfish has negative connotations, and I should have realized that when posting: I donít mean it negatively. Virtually every choice we make, as humans, is made in our own rational self-interest. You became a parent willingly, out of rational self-interest, for whatever reason. Not having children is just as selfish, particularly in my case, as having children. I realize that.

I didnít expect agreement, but I did expect perhaps courtesy, maybe CIVIL disagreement. I didnít expect to hear the word faggot being thrown around (courtesy of jasper); I didnít expect to be told I was going to hell (HisMan); I didnít expect to be called disgusting and self-centered (Jill herself).

Iíve come to realize, however, that when it comes right down to it, you guys are a vocal minority, composed seemingly of religious fanatics and those who want nothing more than to have children. It doesnít seem like a one of you has an argument that isnít based around religion. None of you seem interested at all in understanding anything: youíd much rather twist words and condemn people for not believing exactly, to the letter, as you do than have a decent conversation.

You canít understand that I do not want to be pregnant. I donít care if you do. I donít care if you go on to have eighteen babies. I, however, do not want to do that. I donít care what your reasons are, I donít care how great pregnancy is for you, I donít care what a miracle you think it is. I donít want to be pregnant, right now it isnít acceptable for me to be pregnant, and yes, I would have an abortion should I become pregnant.

Frankly, Iím not particularly concerned about what you think of my actions and decisions. Ultimately, you donít control them, and what I do is none of your concern. I rather wish that my personal life had never been mentioned on this site for the reason that what I choose to do is none of your concern or business.

Posted by: HumanAbstract Author Profile Page at May 31, 2007 12:45 AM


Less, first, calm down.

Next, think about this. Selfish does not equal looking out for yourself, or doing things that serve your own purposes, or following your own goals. Looking out for your own interests is GOOD. Nothing wrong with that.

Selfish DOES equal, valuing your interests to the extent that you disregard the welfare of others.


Posted by: Bethany at May 31, 2007 7:47 AM


I didnÔŅĹt expect agreement, but I did expect perhaps courtesy, maybe CIVIL disagreement. I didnÔŅĹt expect to hear the word faggot being thrown around (courtesy of jasper); I didnÔŅĹt expect to be told I was going to hell (HisMan); I didnÔŅĹt expect to be called disgusting and self-centered (Jill herself).

You really need to think about these things a little more rationally. Pro-life people believe that abortion is murder. We really believe this. We don't just say it to get a rise out of others. It seems that is what you feel for some reason. This is what we truly believe. So put two and two together. You, a pro-abortion supporter, come to this site, expecting to say that you're willing to murder your baby (this is exactly how we hear it, Less), and then you expect a calm, collected discussion about it.

And by the way, I don't believe that Jasper called you a faggot. And I don't believe that Hisman told you that you were going to Hell. Jill did say you were self-centered, but I think that's kind of obvious, from your own admissions.
And if I have called you anything which was an insult or slanderous, let me know....I doubt I have done anything of the sort.

Posted by: Bethany at May 31, 2007 7:52 AM


@Bethany: Jasper referred to Johnny Depp as a "faggot" because he's liberal. HisMan has told Less as well as myself and several others that we are going to hell.

Posted by: Rae at May 31, 2007 4:44 PM