Pregnancy

Life Unwound: Pregnancy takes two – treat both genders the same

Life Unwound: Pregnancy takes two - treat both genders the same

Years ago I counseled a young couple, both of whom were more aware than most of the risks and benefits of sexual activity. They asked a lot of questions. I listened. They were both talking. “We want that. We don’t want that. It makes sense to us, but how does it make sense? »

Susan Young, MSEd, MSC, is living happily in retirement and hopes to see more of her grandchildren in 2022.


They used the pronouns “we” and “we”. Mature, not impulsive, in love, filled with both hormones and caution, they were supportive of each other. After long discussions about values, ethics, love, intimacy, responsibility, and weighing wants and needs, I referred them to an agency that specialized in these issues. They went together.

They arrived at the center. The receptionist pointed to a chair in the waiting room and said to the young man, “You wait here.

The young woman said, “No, I want him with me. It takes two.

The caregiver said, “We rarely see the boys. You hardly ever see the men.

I loved this young woman’s bold truth: “Sex takes two.” She echoed the wise child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” who spoke about the facts that others ignored. I loved the care of this young man. I felt the us, the us, the whole, the it-takes-two.

This latest round of talks on Roe v. Wade seems partly about punishing women if they “get pregnant”. Can women do it alone? Not only do women get pregnant; they are also impregnated. Don’t many couples say, “We’re pregnant, we’re having a baby, we’re starting a family”? (I know, women have morning sickness, weight gain, labor pains.) Yet, are we ignoring the central role of fatherhood in these discussions?

If we imprison women if they terminate a pregnancy, what does this teach our young men and women?

Pregnancy takes two. It takes a “we”. And so, why is it the women who could be imprisoned for “done”? Why isn’t “we”, the other responsible – half of the pregnancy – also judged, if there is one?

Why are men encouraged to ‘sow their wild oats’, as implied by advertisements for Cialis and Viagra covered by insurance, invited to sexual activity and easily able to prevent pregnancy with condoms sold without a prescription? Yet a woman cannot easily prevent a pregnancy because not all insurance companies cover birth control pills, pharmacies often do not carry all brands, and some women can only take one safely. It’s a thorny maze for women to find cover and protection. Insurance does not cover morning after pills, which are not always available and often not legally available. What do we teach girls and boys? Men get a free pass and move on, unknown? And what happens to the pregnant woman? Do we treat men and women equally in this area? Or do we blame women and hold them solely responsible for making babies?

Pro-life may not be the best term to describe the anti-abortion movement. Whose life are we “pro”? What a life ? The words pro-birth might be better because pro-life would mean pro-life for all of us, right? What are we teaching our children and grandchildren? Amanda Gorman begins a beautiful poem, “When the penalty for rape is less than the penalty for abortion after rape…”

Expect! What? Why do the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy only affect the woman? How can that make sense? Why aren’t we treated the same?

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