Thursday, November 03, 2005

The New Religion of Medicine

Was reading through a web site yesterday, written by a girl who is a bit too new-agey for my taste, but never-the-less comes up with some very good points, (if you overlook the new-aginess).

It is all about us as women being quite capable of giving birth by ourselves and being able to trust our own bodies if we are left alone to do so, and are not afraid to trust them. Of course, part of that is being informed about our bodies as well, but part of it is also acting on instinct. Instinct can often be a good thing.

Part of the site is this article on Pregnancy and the New religion of Medicine, which I thought rather interesting. Basically she says that any person who does not partake in this new religion, (consulting "their doctors before they do anything... from taking a walk around the block to putting their children to bed at night") is ridiculed, harassed and even threatened with legal action.
Pregnant women are expected to go to doctors for prenatal care. They are told they are reckless and are endangering the lives of their babies if they don't. However, doctors treat pregnancy as a disease rather than a natural function of a woman's body, which it is. (...) But there is now a growing movement of women who are choosing (...) to do their own prenatal care and birth their own babies, alone. They do this out of a deep concern for the safety and well-being of their unborn children, and should not be considered reckless or negligent. They should be applauded for being brave enough to go against a system which is in many cases the cause of not only miserable birth experiences, but birth trauma which follows them and their children for life.
That pretty much sums up what the article is about, but she makes an extremely good point very much worth mentioning here:
We live in a day and age when women are allowed to exercise control over their own bodies. If they want to terminate a pregnancy (i.e. dismember a baby and suck it out through a vacuum extractor) they are allowed to do this. However, if a mother wants to deliver her own baby by the method of her choice because she believes it is safer, there are those who would like to deny her this right, to say that she is negligent. If this is the case, why don't we call her negligent when she has an abortion? The answer is, because doctors profit from and are in control of the abortion procedure. In an unassisted childbirth, no one profits, no one is in control except the mother. So the question is, do we really believe in women's rights?
Doctors profit from and are in control of the abortion procedure. Now there's a subject I could warm up to. Why do abortion clinics even exist? Because they are making money and to do so they lie to mothers to make them believe there is nothing wrong with it. If those mothers were faced with the whole truth of abortion, most of them would opt out. It would take a pretty cold-blooded person to willingly, knowingly permit her child to be cruelly aborted. The thing is, they don't know. Abortion clinics are supposedly un-biased when it comes to "councelling" troubled mothers, but a councellor who has a history of too many women deciding not to go through with an abortion is fired. Abortionists are in it for the money. (Or really mis-led) They don't care about the mothers or the babies. They have numbed themselves to reality, the reality that they are indeed taking the lives of innocent children.

I like what the feminists for life site has to say about abortion. Abortion isn't liberating women. It isn't about giving women rights. Instead of promoting abortion as the only solution, we need to be working on better options to abortion. We need to make it easier for women to be working (or studying) mothers, (those who need or want to work): easier acces to child-care, more flexible hours, possibility of working from home, etc, etc,... we need to avoid making women feel ostrecized for being pregnant at a bad time. In short, we need to stop making women feel that being pregnant makes them out of wack with society and that the only solution is to terminate the pregnancy, as if it never happened. (which, I believe, in most cases is impossible to achieve, because it is rarely "as if it never happened" and most mothers will at least wonder about how their child might have been, and many become traumatised, as they wake up to the reality of what has happened.)

A quote from Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life:
Sarah Weddington argued Roe vs. Wade in part that a woman could not possibly complete her college education if she were pregnant. Why can't she? Women aren't suddenly stupid because they are pregnant! Women can still read, write and think.
We refuse to choose between our education and career plans and sacrificing our children. All people are equal. All choices are not. Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion.
Oh, definitely. Women deserve better than abortion.

Edited to add: Oh, and by the way, just to make a point, I happen to be one of those women who continued to attend university, for two whole semesters while pregnant (delivered at the end of the second semester), took the summer off and the fall semester as well to be with the baby and then went on to finish not only her bachelor but an extra certificate as well. (All this as a single mother,... although I did meet my husband to be when Jean-Alexandre was a year old. By that time, I'd finished at least one semester at university as a single mother.) My cousin S. and her husband decided to have a child while she was still studying at university. She endured looks from fellow students that blatantly meant they thought she was soooo stupid for doing so but continued on as well. (Thankfully, although in Québec people aren't open to having a lot of children, they do seem to be open to having them whenever... I never got any looks.) Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, my grades did not suffer, thank you very much. (In fact, as I matured and as my grasp of the French language continued to be perfected, they even got better.)