It’s 2020 and it’s time for people to stop asking women when they are going to get pregnant. Cultural and societal expectations are changing and progressing as the years roll by, but an unfortunate norm that has persisted in society is the expectation for women to be “baby-makers.” There has been a definitive shift in the attitude towards women working and equality in the workforce; however, even if a woman is successful in her career, many still expect her to fulfill a “biological” responsibility of producing children. This is a barbaric way of thinking.
We are in an era where women have more agency than ever before in this country, and there is no reason that they should have to endure questions motivated by offensive, patriarchal expectations. There are countless reasons as to why a woman has not had a child or is not planning on having children. As a society we need to establish the appropriate approach to this topic. It’s simple: don’t ask. In no circumstances is it appropriate to question the decisions that a woman makes regarding her personal life or her body.
According to Psychology Today, almost half of all women in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 39 had no children in 2014. By their mid-40s, about 1 in 7 (or 14%) never had children. There are also medical concerns involved with many womens’ decision whether or not to have children, such as the possibility of endometriosis, PCO (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), miscarriages, mental health, and congenital heart defects.
Even if there are no medical concerns, there can also be financial concerns. According to CBS News, “Having a baby is an expensive endeavor — but the cost of giving birth in the U.S. varies wildly. The cost of hospital childbirth is more than three times more expensive in New Jersey than it is in Nebraska.”
Even though the cost varies widely from state-to-state, compared to the U.K., the U.S. has the highest cost for pregnancy and giving birth. According to CNBC, “In U.S. dollars, it costs $2,300 on average for a vaginal delivery or planned C-section in the U.K., or $3,400 for a more complicated procedure. By contrast, it costs $30,000 for the former and $50,000 for the latter in the U.S.”
There is a simple solution to this situation: if it is not your body, then it is not your right to question, ask or even assume why a woman has not had a child by a certain age. There could be countless reasons why a woman has made the choice she has, and it’s important to accept that a woman’s decision to have a child is nobody’s business but her own. It is our right to do as we see fit with our lives, and no bystander should feel the need to question what we do or don’t do with our bodies.