In case there’s any question that “personhood” laws exist exclusively to deny people with uteruses personhood.
How Long Does Pregnancy Last, Really?
We are all used to the idea that pregnancy lasts nine months, though some of us who’ve experienced it are pretty convinced that it lasts much, much longer than that. The medical community has long said that the average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks—though the clock starts ticking at the start of a woman’s last menstrual cycle before conception, not the day of conception or the day of implantation. New research suggests that there is a lot more variation in the total number of days a woman is pregnant than we may have thought.
Researchers followed 125 women who were trying to get pregnant. Through urinalysis they were able to tell when these women ovulated—which was presumed to be the day of conception, since eggs only last about 24 hours—and the day the embryo implanted.
After excluding those babies who were born pre-term, the researchers still found a high variation in the length of pregnancy, ranging from 35 to 40 weeks from the day of conception to the day of birth or about 38 to 43 weeks from the day of a woman’s last menstrual period.
Though the researchers say this variation is surprising and may change how practitioners determine and explain due dates, some obstetricians say this is nothing new. Dr. Tomer Singer, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, for example, told LiveScience that he already tells women they could expect their pregnancies to last anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks (using last menstrual cycle as the start date). The study was also small and limited to women who were not having fertility issues.
Chicago’s ‘Pregnant Men’ Ads: Flipping the Dialogue on Men and Teen Pregnancy Prevention
The Office of Adolescent and School Health in the Chicago Department of Public Health (Chicago DPH) recently released a set of teen pregnancy prevention ads that feature images of half-naked young men who, thanks to technology, appear pregnant. When I first saw the ads, I thought, “Wow, how progressive! Chicago is actually creating ads that are trying to be more inclusive of transgender men.” Well, hope springs eternal—and in this situation, mine was completely misplaced. The ads are actually an attempt to get cisgender boys’ and men’s attention in order to charge them with stepping up when they are part of an unplanned pregnancy.
These ads are not the first of their kind. Just a few months ago, the New York City Human Resource Administration put out subway and bus ads, which received well-deserved criticismbecause of their negative messaging to girls and about boys and young men. With photos of young children accompanied by messages like, “Honestly, Mom—chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?” the New York ads promote stigma, fear, and shame, which, as a strategy, is as unethical as it is ineffective for inspiring behavior change.