A giant stork walks into a bar — there’s got to be a joke in there somewhere — and announces to the crowd that since 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned, at least half of the women sitting enjoying dinner and drinks could be unknowingly pregnant right. now.
Sammy the Stork is Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital’s Partners for Healthy Babies answer to unplanned pregnancy. Since most women don’t know they’re pregnant until 4-8 weeks, they want women to live their life like they could become pregnant at any moment.
First, let’s address the stork’s lousy sense of statistics. Though 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned, only one percent of women are pregnant at any given time.
But as Jezebel points out, there’s a problem here beyond the Sammy’s odd and awkward delivery method. Should women be treated simply as breeding machines, popping folic acid and avoiding alcohol simply because they have the ability to get pregnant?
My OB once told me that, at least in medical terms, health professionals view every single woman of childbearing age they see as potentially pregnant, even if she never intends to conceive. Coming from a trusted doctor, it made sense to me at the time. But coming from an affable man in a stork costume, it seems kind of … icky. It is important to eat green leafy vegetables, to stop smoking, to drink in moderation, for your potential unborn someday baby, sure, but also for you.
I support what Louisiana is trying to do. Healthier women equal healthier babies when unplanned pregnancy does happen, but their delivery method feels a little off. What do you think?
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