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Pregnancy refers to the state of internally carrying developing offspring, which occurs in most female mammalian species. A fertilized egg is known as a zygote, and an embryo is the name it acquires once it is implanted in the uterus. After it's developed for long enough to stop looking like an amorphous blob, it's called a fetus. In humans, pregnancy lasts typically around nine months, but in other mammals the time can be shorter or longer; a red fox's lasts 52 days, while at the opposite end of the spectrum a llama's is 340 days. (A goat has a gestation period of around 150 days!)

Some consider pregnancy the most serious of all sexually transmitted infections.

Politics of pregnancy[edit]

As the primary process by which the next generation is brought into existence, pregnancy has historically been of great interest to politicians, philosophers, moral scolds, and other powers-that-be wishing to exercise control over that process. Especially in recent years, this has pitted them against women who believe that their uterus should instead remain under their own control, in the form of the debates over the legal status of contraception and abortion.

One common goal of those who want control over pregnancy is to preserve patrilineality and ensure that the parents of every child are known. Since mater semper certa est,Wikipedia this generally entails putting tight restrictions on women's sexuality to ensure that they only have sex with their husbands, or at least someone they could marry in a pinch. For example, the original formulation of the Seventh Commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," referred to limiting sexual activities to one's own spouse(s).

Another, related, goal is to ensure that no mating occurs across the boundaries of a social group. This gave rise to such phenomena as the Jim Crow era lynching of black men who looked cross-eyed at white women; it also is said to underlie numerous myths illustrating the terrifying dangers of diddling strange women, e.g., tales involving a vagina dentata.Wikipedia

Working pregnant women wanting time off for antenatals face negative reactions from employers.[1] Some pregnant women face demotion, harassment, or even employment termination. Such practices have resulted in the implementation of laws like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is enforced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[2]

Most people on both sides of the political aisle in the United States look down upon young women who become pregnant, especially teenagers. Teenage and young adult pregnancy often results in slut-shaming, and is sometimes negatively referred to as "babies making babies". There are exceptions to this, hence the existence of the television show Sixteen and Pregnant, which more or less glorifies the concept. While most people are against teenagers or young adults unprepared for motherhood becoming pregnant, there are mixed feelings about young women who decide to have the baby, with some criticizing the decision as irresponsible, and others (especially evangelicals and fundamentalists) praising their decision to reject abortion.

See also[edit]