Our Norm: Nonpregnant

Nonpregnant is listed in the dictionary as a “self-explanatory word with the non- prefix.” I found this word amusing. Not only is the word self-explanatory, it seems unnecessary. Who needs the word nonpregnant–ever?

At OxfordDictonary.com there is this sample sentence: “Using hair assays to measure compliance, pregnant women were compared with a control group of nonpregnant women.”

Ah, of course, the scientific community needs a word like nonpregnant.

But the average woman reporting to her boyfriend would say, “Holy shit. False alarm,” not “Thank goodness that stick confirmed a nonpregnant status.”

Women spend a majority of their adult lives watching their cycles, trying to have a little fun here and there, praying they won’t get pregnant. Women carry a variety of titles these days–yogis, zookeepers, chefs, firefighters, teachers–and daughters, girlfriends, wives, but we don’t call ourselves nonpregnant.

The choice to be nonpregnant is a privilege we have thanks to women like Margaret Sanger who endured arrest, jail time, and prosecution in order to better the lives of other women. Birth control in its various forms has been around since the early Egyptians, but safe, consistent methods such as the condoms and birth control pills available today haven’t been around that long.

It took decades and millions of dollars to fund research so women could have access to The Pill, first approved by the FDA in 1960. Though The Pill and organizations like Planned Parenthood revolutionized our thinking throughout the 1960s, it was still common for unmarried women to be denied birth control. It wasn’t until 1972 when the Supreme Court (in Baird v. Eisenstadt) legalized birth control for all citizens, regardless of their marital status.

I have benefited from birth control. I experienced pregnancy when I was ready. I was lucky to have my children in the circumstances I did, married to a wonderful man I consider my best friend. I’m thankful there is one thing in my life I have done without regrets or second thoughts. I am thankful for my daughters.

And I’m thankful I won’t ever have to be pregnant again. Cheers!


Inspired by the letter N in the A to Z Challenge. Scroll past the social media buttons to comment on this post.


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