It was a typical Wednesday evening as I was cleaning and getting ready to cook dinner. My groceries had just gotten delivered so I waddled out of my apartment without any shoes to grab them right at the end of the hall.
Groceries in hand, I pivoted quickly to start the short walk down the hall back to my apartment when a woman stopped me. Her eyes went straight to my belly (it’s hard to miss, me being 8 months pregnant now on such a tiny frame). “When are you due?” she asked. I awkwardly told her my due date, still shoeless and carrying two giant bags of groceries. The conversation took an immediate turn to a place most conversations have been going these days: “If you haven’t, you need to get the vaccine. I can’t believe how many mothers are depriving their babies of immunity by not getting the vaccine.”
I did my best to give this woman who lives just down the hall from me the impression that I was as vaccinated as they come, but the truth is, I’m not vaccinated and I don’t plan to be. I waddled back to my apartment and sat in my kitchen for several moments, shocked that a woman I’ve never met could insinuate I would deprive my child of anything, that I was already making poor decisions as a mother. The sad reality is that I’m far from the only pregnant woman who has had to deal with this aggressive pressure to inject my body and my baby’s body with something I’m not comfortable with.
Over two-thirds of pregnant women have not received the vaccine.
We see headlines and stories of countless people losing their jobs over refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, but I didn’t have to go far to experience this personally, as my sister was one of them. Like me, my sister is pregnant, 5 months pregnant to be exact, and a high-risk pregnancy due to age and genetic factors. I still remember the joy in her voice when she told me she was pregnant with her second child, one she didn’t think she’d be able to have. She loves kids more than anybody I know, so much so that she made it her career to help them. After obtaining a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, my sister found a job she loved as a therapist for abused kids. All of that came to a screeching halt this week, as the Biden mandates for healthcare workers to be vaccinated have rolled in.
My sister’s heart dropped as she read the text from her employer: “All staff are required to show proof of vaccination. No exemptions allowed.” Her hands were tied, and she made the decision to search for work elsewhere rather than risk the health of her miracle baby.
The media would like you to believe that people like my sister and I are uneducated outliers, radicals even, who are “anti-science.” The truth is that we are far from alone, and most pregnant women, over two-thirds, have not received the vaccine. As a result of this hesitancy, pregnant women have been unfairly targeted by the media and most recently, the CDC, which issued an “urgent” advisory for pregnant women to get vaccinated.
My Body, My Choice
From the day we find out we’re pregnant, women are bombarded with things we shouldn’t do: No sushi, no deli meat, no cleaning litter boxes, and for some, even vibrators are off limits. Even though the occasional glass of wine is fine for most pregnant women, you won’t find a medical agency in the world that will approve of it because of the liability. Why then have pregnant women been pressured into believing that the safety of the fresh-off-the-press COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t be questioned?
It’s taken pregnant women decades to fight for the right to be able to make medical decisions for ourselves and our babies.
Pregnant women are encouraged to shut up and forget about our dark history of the government stripping us of bodily autonomy. It’s taken pregnant women decades to fight for the right to be able to make medical decisions for ourselves and our babies without undue force from the government or healthcare providers. This fight hasn’t been without loss either. Take the case below from the ACLU:
“In the 1987 case of In re: A.C., hospital administrators went to court and secured an order forcing Angela Carder, a pregnant woman critically ill with cancer, to undergo a cesarean section against her will. Tragically, both she and her premature baby died. The ACLU, working with the family, got the dangerous legal precedent vacated. The case helped establish the right of pregnant women to determine their own health care.”
The sad reality is that a pregnant woman’s right to determine her own healthcare is a right built on a hill of mothers and babies who are no longer with us – mothers and babies who were forced into fatal medical decisions that they didn’t want. Unfortunately, pregnant women have been abandoned in our fight for our rights, by the same people who would concur that the absence of choice in reproductive health is no less than a human rights violation.
Pregnant Women Have No Reason To Trust Big Pharma, the FDA, or the CDC
Saying the companies that the United States government has partnered with to mass distribute this vaccine are less than trustworthy would be a massive understatement. The truth is, the companies and agencies pushing the vaccine on pregnant women have a long history of abusing their power and authority.
Pfizer alone once held the record for the “largest healthcare fraud settlement in history,” paying $2.3 billion for fraudulent marketing, which included “false claims to government health care programs” and “kickbacks to healthcare providers.” Yes, you read that right: The company that faced the largest criminal fine in history for fraudulent marketing to the United States government is now teaming up with the United States government to force their newest product into the arms of every single American. The cherry on top is that you cannot sue Pfizer or Moderna or Johnson & Johnson over any negative side effects of this vaccine.
And that’s not to say that the United States government and their agencies are shining examples of “trustworthiness” either. In most cases, we don’t find out about the egregious lapses in judgment from agencies like the FDA until decades of irreversible damage later, as we just saw with Chantix, an anti-smoking drug, being recalled for causing cancer. Let’s not forget that former FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, joined Pfizer’s board shortly after his resignation. Cronyism at its finest.
Then we get to the loudest voice in the room, the reason for this article, the CDC. Critiques of the COVID-19 recommendations pushed out by the CDC have been plentiful and from people on all sides of the vaccination issue. Not only has the CDC contradicted themselves throughout their many advisories, but some journalists have also gone as far as to claim that “the CDC’s recommendations have been outright counterproductive and, in the end, have cost lives.” Pregnant women have every right to question the CDC, and every right to protect themselves from what very well may be another poor recommendation from the CDC.
Reported adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccines outnumber any other vaccine in recorded history.
In February 2021, the CDC and FDA themselves confirmed that 27% of all reports of adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine were pregnancy specific: miscarriage, preterm labor, spontaneous rupture of amniotic fluids, placental abruption, thrombosis, and many more, including stillbirth. Many of these reports can be looked up by searching the VAERS database, which is the reporting system used to record adverse events relating to vaccines. Despite adverse events on VAERS related to COVID-19 vaccines outnumbering any other vaccine in recorded history, the incestuous alliance of Big Pharma with federal regulatory agencies takes precedence over discretion in mandating decisions related to pregnant women and their babies.
Image Source: FDA
While a pregnant woman may receive disapproving looks for grabbing a vanilla latte at the local coffee shop while heading to work after a sleepless night of back pain and karate chops into her ribs, she is nonetheless demonized for exercising restraint in trusting a product with documented risks which are consistently downplayed.
It would seem common sense for any pregnant woman to exercise caution against shooting up herself and her baby with any product pushed so viciously by corrupt actors in Big Pharma and flip-floppy government agencies, but instead, we’re seeing women chastised for this caution. Pregnant women, more than any other group, are being gaslit into believing that there is no risk to themselves or their baby. Now, a government body is forcing us to inject a vaccine if we want to keep our jobs, regressing back to the dark and oppressive practice of stripping pregnant women of their right to make medical decisions for themselves and their babies.
Saying that pregnant women should not be forced to inject an understudied vaccine into their bodies is not and should not be controversial.
Not only is this my body and my choice, but it’s my baby and my choice.
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