Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reproduction 101 - It's elementary...or at least it should be.

I’ve been away from the blog for a while (and should perhaps stay away a little bit longer if my final assignments are any indication) but I cannot endure the silence any longer.

I got an e-mail from Mr. President (and co.) today.  It was asking me to donate, as most e-mails from politicians do, but what stood out to me was this:

We can't afford an endless war in Afghanistan, a return to policies that hurt the middle class, and a social agenda from the 1950s.”

Please note, the emphasis is my own. I believe this "social agenda from the 1950's" is meant to refer to the current war on my right to have and maintain a blessedly empty womb. 

A few days ago I was made aware of Arizona House Bill 2036 which was sent up the chain to the governor on April 10th.  This bill makes it illegal to perform abortions after the fetus reaches a gestational age of 20 weeks.  According to this bill, gestational age is calculated from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual cycle to the current date.  Let me repeat that: the age of the fetus is to be calculated from the first day of the woman’s last period. That makes sense…


No it doesn’t.

I immediately began to research, because biology is my bible (sorry, Ma!).  Being a woman of a certain age, I thought I understand menstruation. Based on that understanding, I assumed that being on one’s cycle usually meant that one wasn’t pregnant.  But, under this bill, a woman seeking an abortion would effectively be considered pregnant during a time that she couldn’t have been pregnant. (I understand that there are exceptions to the rule. As a rule, exceptions to the rule are usually considered minorities.) 

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, gestational age is typically calculated in this way, so Arizona didn’t just pull this out of its rather large ass. I mean, we can trust doctor’s right? Right?!

But, this same page also says that “gestation is the period of time between conception and birth…”

Conception: the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both.

(Hang in there people, I know I’m getting academic on ya!)

Fertilization occurs when a sperm wriggles its way into an egg.  Said egg is released during ovulation. Ovulation typically occurs 14 days AFTER a woman’s period begins.

To summarize: the period is that time of the month when the unfertilized egg is excreted from the body.  An unfertilized egg means that either your birth control did its job or the sperm didn't do his (or hers as the case may be). 

So, I ask ye newly educated citizens of Blogospheria, how in the hell can a woman be pregnant on the first day of her period, a time when her body is getting rid of the very egg that was supposed to be invaded by sperm, but wasn't? 

How can a woman be considered pregnant a full 2 weeks before she can even biologically GET pregnant, ipso facto - when pregnant she ain't? 

Think of the ramifications people! A woman is losing critical time to adequately enact her right to choose.

Arizona can hide behind the claim that their definition of gestational age is backed by medicine, but they, and their doctor cronies, are wrong. Doctors have been known to f*ck up before, and let's face it, how often does our government get it right? 

Note: bills similar to Arizona's are planned in Georgia and New Hampshire, and have already passed in Nebraska. 


  1. Wow. Thank you for this post, Kristen. I had no idea this is how they calculated age of the fetus. Crazy!!!!

  2. You're welcome! And it is. The bill has officially been signed into law in Arizona. :(