Linda Bacon, PhD

inspiring a global transformation to a more just world,
where all bodies are valued,
respected,
and supported in compassionate self-care

6/23/19, New York Times Magazine, When You’re Told You’re Too Fat to Get Pregnant, by Virginia Sole-Smith

[snip] But to Linda Bacon, an associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, and author of the book “Health at Every Size,” trying to assess the odds [about BMI impact] is beside the point, because doctors’ jobs are to treat the patient in front of them. “Even if it is causative (and it may be), people still deserve the right to good health care,” she emailed me to say. “Health care needs to take care of our lived bodies, regardless of size.”

Balzano believes she would have been annoyed, but far less devastated, if the doctor she saw had explained that their clinic wasn’t set up to handle her case. “That would have felt kinder and more ethical, but the implication was, ‘It’s irresponsible of you to want to have a baby at this size,’ ” she says. Jen McLellan, an activist and childbirth educator who writes a blog called Plus Size Birth, gets similar stories from her 172,000 Facebook followers: “I have heard from women of size who have been told to abort their babies.”

This is where the conversation about risk and responsibility turns. It’s no longer about what a woman is willing to inflict on herself — it’s about whether she might jeopardize her not-yet-conceived offspring. “We police women over their fitness to become a mother,” DeJoy says. “ ‘Are you drinking, are you smoking, do you have enough money and a partner?’ And if you’re a larger woman, it’s: ‘You don’t know how to eat and exercise. You’ll raise that kid to be fat.’ ”

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