Monday, January 3, 2011

Pregnancy? It’s No ‘Accident’

November 15, 2010, the Los Angeles Times ran a column, entitled “Pregnancy? It’s No ‘Accident’”. I wrote a response which was neither acknowledged or printed.

Dear Editor:

“Pregnant? It’s No Accident” points a finger at women who become unwillingly pregnant. It’s NOT an unbiased report of Center for Disease Control’s report of their interviews with 7,356 women about their contraceptive use.

Instead, Dr. Ulene uses one of many charts to launch her reproving lecture--a chart that CDC states “should be interpreted with caution because it was based on only 842 women’s interviews.

1. Dr. Ulene interprets the fact that 14% of women who didn’t use contraception and got pregnant as “lack of forethought” because they said they didn’t expect to have sex. Feminists might interpret this as “lack of control in male-female sexual relations”

2. Dr. Ulene implies that the Pill is 99% effective when used “correctly”. Actually, the “theoretical” effectiveness of the Pill is 99%, but no medication is used that perfectly, even when used “correctly” in hospitals under medical supervision. The real effectiveness is 91.3%. The Pill fails almost 10% of the time, and that is not because women are sloppy, mostly it’s due to our current imprecise understanding of hormonal changes in the body.

3. Dr. Ulene implies that the woman is at fault when an unwanted pregnancy happens. Seat belts and airbags are needed in cars because even when drivers are driving carefully, cars sometimes collide. Even though one-third of all pregnancies in the U.S. are mistimed or unwanted, those pregnancies are due to many factors, of which a woman’s negligent behavior is only a small part.

CDC’s major finding is that 99% of women who have ever had sex with men have used contraceptives, and 60% regularly use contraceptives. And they do this, despite the prohibition of some religions, cost, the inconvenience, the dangers and the lack of male cooperation. This is the real news. Dr. Ulene, not sexually active women, needs to “straighten up and fly right.”

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