So I just discovered this unpublished draft in my edit posts file... Even though this article appeared 2 months ago in the Washington Post, it's still outrageous! I've included excerpts below; you can read the full article at the link above.
Talk about looking as women as nothing but wombs!
Guidelines: Treat Nearly All Women as Pre-Pregnant
By January W. Payne
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.
Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.
While most of these recommendations are well known to women who are pregnant or seeking to get pregnant, experts say it's important that women follow this advice throughout their reproductive lives, because about half of pregnancies are unplanned and so much damage can be done to a fetus between conception and the time the pregnancy is confirmed.
"We know that women -- unless you're actively planning [a pregnancy], . . . she doesn't want to talk about it," Biermann said. So clinicians must find a "way to do this and not scare women," by promoting preconception care as part of standard women's health care, she said.