Is Linda Sanchez a bad role model?
(There are new rules & an extended deadline)
Latino Politics Blog reports that Linda Sanchez, Congresswoman from California, is pregnant. AND SINGLE!
Linda Sanchez is not married but is engaged and planned this pregnancy. Not the ideal way to go about things, especially in a community with a teen pregnancy rate that is twice the national average and a rising out of wedlock birthrate. Sure, at 39, Rep. Sanchez’s biological clock is ticking, and her window of opportunity shrinking. But come on, in a community lacking role models on the national scene, I wouldn’t have suggested that she announce this pregnancy prior to at least having a civil wedding ceremony. There are wedding chapels all over Southern California, and we are in close proximity to Las Vegas…. why not get married now if you plan to do it anyway?
Other options would have been to have some of her eggs frozen for insemination and implantation at a later time. Not as exciting as conventional baby making, but it could have bought her some time to plan a wedding and pursue her legislative agenda once Obama takes office in January and the next session of congress kicks off.
WOW..."have some of her eggs frozen for insemination and implantation at a later time." Because we all know that it's just that easy, right chicas? Perhaps because our Latina wombs are so damn fertile we get knocked up so easy that even thawed eggs have no choice but to implant and develop into a bebe. Sheesh!
So here's my feminista take on this. IT'S HER FUCKING CHOICE!
Here's a woman who is an elected official, 39-years-old, and making her own money. I'm not one to tsk-tsk single mamahood, even for us Latinas. If we're old enough to get knocked up, we're old enough to make that choice. Yes, I don't like to see teens have babies, but I also don't like to see people marry just to make things "look right." Marriage is overrated in terms of providing cover for unplanned pregnancies. Marriage should always be about love and making a statement about that love, NOT about making children legitimate.
Linda can be a great role model by embracing motherhood, bringing the lil bebe to Congress, taking a fabulous maternity leave, and helping POTUSe Obama to pass legislation that allows every Latina, heck every WOMAN in this country has access to safe & affordable child care, health care, and every bebe gets access to health care.
I doubt that Linda's pregnancy will create a spike in teen-aged Latinas "choosing" single mamahood. Latina Lista has a nice list that one could say is the beginning to really addressing the problem with single teenage Latina mamahood:
1. TEACH realistic sex education in the schools. Recognize the fact that teens are having sex and have safe sex materials available for their use.
2. PROMOTE a "Better Future" program to parents starting in elementary school. Underscore the benefits of education and family communication. Instruct parents on what is proper television programming for children to watch and age-appropriate clothing. Create more opportunities for parents to share time with children, especially in middle school and high school.
3.INSPIRE students to see beyond today with innovative programming, field trips, guest speakers, projects, etc.
4. TAKE ADVANTAGE of the work being done by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and implement their research and ideas for teens.
*I'm also still due to review her and Loretta's memoir as sisters in Congress.