Let’s just clarify two things for a moment.
1. I am 32 weeks pregnant.
2. I am not sick.
Does that seem like a strange juxtaposition? Sadly, in our culture of death, it isn’t.
It has taken me a long time to write on the Obama administration’s so-called Contraception Mandate. Partly because I have been so disgusted over the whole thing that I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. Partly because I have many friends and family members who are adamantly “for” it, and I didn’t want to stir up a pot if I had nothing truly constructive to say. And partly because, you know, I’ve been busy building a child and mothering two others!
Still, I thought it was high time I finally said something. And here it is: I AM NOT SICK!
Pregnancy is many things. It is life-changing. It is life-giving. It is miraculous. It is amazing!
It is also uncomfortable. It can be unwanted. It is, even when wanted, usually at least somewhat inconvenient. At different points, it can be painful (hello, labor!) or downright unpleasant (morning sickness, anyone?)
The one thing it is not is a disease.
Pregnancy is not an illness.
Yet, this is exactly how our culture responds to pregnancy.
I am not trying to say that medicine has no place in pregnancy. Some women have ectopic pregnancies. Some pregnancies end in pre-eclampsia and require emergency cesareans. Some babies die in utero or are revealed to have life-threatening illnesses that will need to be treated at birth. There are legitimate emergencies where all does not go as planned and a pregnant woman or unborn child is diagnosed with a disease that needs professional medical treatment. But pregnancy itself is not that disease.
And now, we have been told by the government that contraception and sterilization for perfectly healthy women and men is “preventative care.” This even goes so far as to include medications that cause abortions of already conceived children. It is the final straw in the straw man.
But, how do we convince this culture of death that pregnancy is not the enemy? That babies are not the enemy?
I’m not going to deny that prenatal and postnatal care are expensive—astronomically expensive in this country (USA) compared to other developed nations! I also acknowledge that there are diseases that are best treated by the use of contraceptives (something, incidentally, that the Catholic Church permits – see Humane Vitae 15). But to treat pregnancy as something which ought to be prevented—like cancer or heart disease—is a twisted look at something that is inherently good.
Yes, I said it. Pregnancy is, by its very nature, good. Because pregnancy is the beginning of life. And life—all life, from conception until natural death—is sacred and beautiful and inexpressibly good.
So regardless of my thoughts on the constitutionality of the Mandate, regardless of my fears of where this slippery slope of “religious exemptions” may lead, the one thing I want to affirm is that life is good. And no matter how tiring, uncomfortable or painful a pregnancy might be (and I know it can!), I say again: I am not sick. And my child is not a disease.
No child is.
Btw…if you’re confused, those are pictures from Easter morning. They were the most recent “belly shots” I could find. Sorry, kind of a lame, I know.