Congress now truly reflects America

Ethel C. Fenig
Yes, now more than ever, the US Congress looks like the country it represents.  In another change it now has a pregnant, unmarried member.  Joining the ranks of  women over 35 having a baby without benefit of marriage (yet) is Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) who is 39; the baby to be's  father is her "unofficial fiance." But no scandal here, no mockery needed as this is diversity and acceptance since Ms. Sanchez is a Democrat and not a Republican's adolescent pregnant daughter.   

According to LA Times columnist Patt Morrison, a pregnant, unmarried Congresswoman, "It's about how far we've come, and where we may still fall short." Where "may we still fall short?" Gossiping and making nasty comments about an unmarried Democrat?  That's reserved for Republicans  although Sanchez herself thinks, "Washington is a back-fence-gossip kind of town, and Sanchez expects there to be some fuss and bother."

"I don't know how it'll be received," she said. "I hope people will recognize that to be able to plan that in your life -- I don't think that marriage and childbirth are black and white. There are certain instances in which you have to do things in reverse order."  

And why did she wait until after the election to announce her impending motherhood?

I'm hopeful there won't be this sort of ugliness about something that for me is really a blessed event," she told me. Sanchez said she waited until after the election to break the news because she wanted the first trimester to have passed safely. 

Since when does uttering a few words affect fetal development?  Perhaps Representative Sanchez, who had an easy re election race,  had some doubts  how her constituents would receive her news.     

Ms. Morrison does ask Rep Sanchez another relevant question.  

So how might Sanchez's pregnancy play out in her district, which is 61% Latino? The national Latina teenage pregnancy rate is twice the country's average. Could a teenager point to her and say, "If she can do it, why can't I?"

The differences, Sanchez thinks, are substantial, and that's a big teachable moment. She's not a "surprised pregnant teenager," 15 or 16, poor, jobless, a dropout. "I'm established in my life. I have a career. I'm financially stable. I have a loving, committed partner. This is something that was planned, not something that was accidental."

Good points.  Sanchez is also part of another demographic--older, single, childless women who realize they have limited time to become a mother.  

Sanchez is 39 and divorced, and early this year, her doctor told her that "if your intention is to become a mother, I wouldn't put it off." So she and Sullivan didn't. They haven't yet set a wedding date. As he told me, "We have the rest of our lives to get engaged and married -- we don't have the rest of our lives" for Sanchez to become pregnant.   There's one point on which Sanchez and Sullivan (and President-elect Barack Obama) would agree with Quayle: fathers, and having a "supportive and nurturing environment with two parents who will love" the baby very much.

My best wishes for a healthy baby blessed with two loving, supportive parents. 
Yes, now more than ever, the US Congress looks like the country it represents.  In another change it now has a pregnant, unmarried member.  Joining the ranks of  women over 35 having a baby without benefit of marriage (yet) is Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) who is 39; the baby to be's  father is her "unofficial fiance." But no scandal here, no mockery needed as this is diversity and acceptance since Ms. Sanchez is a Democrat and not a Republican's adolescent pregnant daughter.   

According to LA Times columnist Patt Morrison, a pregnant, unmarried Congresswoman, "It's about how far we've come, and where we may still fall short." Where "may we still fall short?" Gossiping and making nasty comments about an unmarried Democrat?  That's reserved for Republicans  although Sanchez herself thinks, "Washington is a back-fence-gossip kind of town, and Sanchez expects there to be some fuss and bother."

"I don't know how it'll be received," she said. "I hope people will recognize that to be able to plan that in your life -- I don't think that marriage and childbirth are black and white. There are certain instances in which you have to do things in reverse order."  

And why did she wait until after the election to announce her impending motherhood?

I'm hopeful there won't be this sort of ugliness about something that for me is really a blessed event," she told me. Sanchez said she waited until after the election to break the news because she wanted the first trimester to have passed safely. 

Since when does uttering a few words affect fetal development?  Perhaps Representative Sanchez, who had an easy re election race,  had some doubts  how her constituents would receive her news.     

Ms. Morrison does ask Rep Sanchez another relevant question.  

So how might Sanchez's pregnancy play out in her district, which is 61% Latino? The national Latina teenage pregnancy rate is twice the country's average. Could a teenager point to her and say, "If she can do it, why can't I?"

The differences, Sanchez thinks, are substantial, and that's a big teachable moment. She's not a "surprised pregnant teenager," 15 or 16, poor, jobless, a dropout. "I'm established in my life. I have a career. I'm financially stable. I have a loving, committed partner. This is something that was planned, not something that was accidental."

Good points.  Sanchez is also part of another demographic--older, single, childless women who realize they have limited time to become a mother.  

Sanchez is 39 and divorced, and early this year, her doctor told her that "if your intention is to become a mother, I wouldn't put it off." So she and Sullivan didn't. They haven't yet set a wedding date. As he told me, "We have the rest of our lives to get engaged and married -- we don't have the rest of our lives" for Sanchez to become pregnant.   There's one point on which Sanchez and Sullivan (and President-elect Barack Obama) would agree with Quayle: fathers, and having a "supportive and nurturing environment with two parents who will love" the baby very much.

My best wishes for a healthy baby blessed with two loving, supportive parents.