Women Making Frivolous Medical Decisions

I joke all the time now, as I take Kick to doctor’s appointments and research various child care options, that I’m so hopelessly behind the 8-ball because I didn’t actually come to terms with being pregnant until month 6 or so.

In truth I started to feel like this was happening around the 18-week scan, when Mr. A and I met with a genetic counselor (necessary because of my “advanced maternal age”) and started going through the seemingly endless lists of everything that could be wrong with me and the child I could barely feel kicking yet.

We discussed tests and the reasons to perform them, and the counselor was gentle: If you want to “do anything” about the potential results of an amniocentesis, of this screen or that one, you have to get it all done in the next two weeks.

You have only this much time, before things get really complicated.

In recent months, there has been high-profile legislation across the country seeking to ban abortion after 20 weeks or earlier. This is precisely the point at which many fetal anomalies are diagnosed in a pregnancy. My own state, Michigan, recently passed a bill prohibiting insurers from providing coverage for pregnancy termination, with no exceptions for circumstances like fetal anomalies or rape, unless women have purchased a special policy in advance, as though this is a situation anyone would anticipate and plan for.

We were lucky. If we hadn”t been?

The people who write these laws genuinely think women are stupid, genuinely think women don’t understand their own bodies or what their bodies can do, genuinely think that an 18-week or a 22-week or a 28-week abortion is something you’d do on a whim.

Some of them have children and I do not get how you go through that and come out the other side feeling determined to make sure that if something does go wrong with somebody you’ve never met, that person suffers twice as much as is humanly possible.

A.

5 thoughts on “Women Making Frivolous Medical Decisions

  1. pacem appellant says:

    I definitely take for granted that I live on the Left Coast. I hardly thought about whether an abortion would have been feasible if the amnio results had come back with terrible news. When I do think about how the wrong wing is succeeding in taking away medical freedom from women all over this country, I can’t help but wonder what god they worship, and why he gives brownie points to the most obnoxious of his followers.

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  2. gratuitous says:

    Anent “the people who write these laws”: These are the same nincompoops who can’t imagine what might happen with an aging chemical storage tank sited on a riverbank just up from the intake for the city’s water supply. How in the world could anyone have possibly known that the tank might leak, and what are the odds that the leaking chemicals would flow downhill to the river? And after hitting those lottery odds, who could have foreseen that the river’s current would carry those chemicals downriver to the water supply intake? The vanishingly miniscule odds of all of those things happening is just too astronomical to calculate! This was practically an act of God, nobody’s at fault, and nobody should be responsible for the clean-up (except of course Uncle Sugar, which is to say the taxpayers who survive being poisoned).
    It’s these same people who think that every woman, particularly every pregnant woman, is self-aware down to the cellular level and can discern all on her own any anomalies in her body the moment they occur. It’s just that women are such insatiable slut-puppies (except around the men who are the subject of this post for some reason) that they all want to get pregnant just so they can have an abortion, and the later the term the better!
    And yet, we keep electing these nincompoops to high office.

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  3. darrelplant says:

    When we met at Eschacon you didn’t look a day over maternal age.

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  4. aimai says:

    Hug that baby tighter. Its hard to believe that any of these right wingers could have been married to a woman who got pregnant, or gotten pregnant themselves, and not known just how rare and precious it is that a baby is born perfectly healthy. But they are also people who lack empathy and imagination, if the rest of our political debate is any evidence, and so maybe once the baby is out and healthy they forget those little scares and those little talks with the geneticist and the accidents and tragedies of other people they know and just kind of normalize the entire pregnancy and even go back to a dreamy notion of the fetus as a fully formed homunculus right back to the original conception. I’ve known people who had babies who don’t remember, or grasp, that the fetus they were swooning over was the size of a god ddamned bean for large portions of the pregnancy.
    PS: I’m facilitating a new mother’s group here. We have ten women right now, one with twins and an older two year old. Wish you and little kick were here to show off! The first year is wonderful, but hard, too, and sometimes between the mothers crying and the babies crying the weekly meeting gets pretty noisy. But its oh so wonderful and such a privilige to hold everybody’s hand for this year.

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  5. Athenae says:

    so maybe once the baby is out and healthy they forget those little scares and those little talks with the geneticist and the accidents and tragedies of other people they know and just kind of normalize the entire pregnancy and even go back to a dreamy notion of the fetus as a fully formed homunculus right back to the original conception.
    If you could bottle this obliviousness, there are days I would pay all my money for it. I really see the advantage of bone-deep stupidity when it comes to offsetting the paralyzing anxiety of knowing in infinitesimal detail the ways your whole life can go tits-up in a second.
    A.

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