ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: pregnancy

On Being Queer and Pregnant: How the LGBT Community Failed Me

Earlier this year, I shared my abortion story for the first time. Opening up about it felt hard because I had waited ten years — and also, because I’m queer. When I came out to my mom 12 years ago, queer wasn’t a word that we used. The language we use to describe sexual orientation has shifted so much since then, but at the time I identified as bisexual. Similar to now, bisexuality wasn’t perceived to be something that really existed. From a heterosexist perspective, bisexuality meant you were confused or going through a phase that would have a finite end. From a monosexist perspective, being bisexual ostracized you from the gay and lesbian community unless you could somehow prove that you were equally attracted to both sexes, an impossible… Read more »

Revolution With a Side of Pampers

“Mom, I love you! You’re the best!” I get to hear this every day from my amazing 6 year old son who I have been a single mother to since the day he was born. After celebrating Mothers Day this year, I found out that May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, at which point my stomach started twisting in knots. Given my own experience dealing with teen pregnancy in the conservative South, I’m always skeptical when I see prevention campaigns since they’re usually solely focused on shaming the mother’s “mistake” and not looking at a bigger picture. The Candies Foundation’s #NoTeenPreg campaign is no different. The latest print PSA’s from the #NoTeenPreg campaign show celebrities with one-liners like “You should be changing the world, not changing diapers,” and “Don’t… Read more »

Responding to Teen Pregnancy: Stop the Shame

The current conversation around young mothers is not only stigmatizing, it’s also incredibly insensitive. Campaigns such as #NoTeenPreg, launched by the Candies Foundation, present young mothers as inherently problematic – to themselves,  their families, and their communities. The campaign proliferates messages like,  “You’re supposed to be changing the world, not changing diapers,”  as if teen moms are incapable of influencing positive change. The Candie’s Foundation isn’t the first organization to shame young parents and unfortunately it won’t be the last. As advocacy organizations, we often respond to campaigns like this by explaining that the “real problem” with teen pregnancy is the lack of resources and medically accurate information about sex and sexuality. While I agree that these are often the cause of unintended pregnancies –  80% of teen pregnancies are… Read more »

“Man Pregnancy” and Other Harmful Notions that Prevent Inclusivity

Remember Thomas Beatie – the pregnant man on Oprah, claiming to be the first? Well he wasn’t.  He was the first post-transition, transgender man to “go public” about keeping and using his female reproductive organs but by no means the first pregnant man.  In going public and naming himself an anomaly, he attracted audiences much like a circus freak would. More recently, author Benjamin Percy was interviewed on The TODAY Show about his experience of being “man pregnant,” as he actually called it. Percy’s definition of man pregnant: “[wearing] a pregnancy suit for nine weeks in an effort to be a better father by gaining an understanding of what women go through when they’re pregnant.”  There are so many things wrong with this. First off, Percy’s reasoning assumes that the… Read more »

Juno, Choice, and Stigmatizing Teen Pregnancy

When Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman’s Juno premiered five years ago, it became an immediate critical and theatrical success. Oprah, barometer of all things of-the-moment, called the indie dramedy “fresh.” Legendary movie critic Robert Ebert hailed it as “the best movie of the year.” What makes this all the more fascinating is that Juno isn’t just a little quirky independent film in a similar vein as Garden State and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. It’s also a film about a pregnant teen, and her remarkably solitary quest to deal with her pregnancy accordingly, in a way that works for her. Simply put, Juno is all about choice. One of the most remarkable things about the 2007 film was that it put the power back in the hands of a pregnant youth…. Read more »