Pat Morrison of the LA Times has a short piece about Congresswoman Linda Sanchez’s pregnancy announcement. First off, congrats Linda. You wanted a baby, and now I hope you have a happy and healthy one and an uneventful pregnancy.
Here’s my take on it. 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.
As Pat Morrison points out, this situation is very different from Bristol Palin’s pregnancy in that Linda Sanchez has completed her education, has a career, and the means to afford being a single mom. Additionally, Rep. Sanchez is in a committed relationship with her fiance Jim Sullivan, a PR and government relations consultant.
For me, the point is that the Latino community, as a whole, is struggling with single motherhood and out of wedlock births, and we like to point to our sense of family values as being solid. Sanchez’s move does not send a positive message to our younger Latinas and Latinos, and frankly, doesn’t show very good family planning on her part. Her biological clock has been ticking loudly for some time now. So aspiring Latin@ politicians, please think about family planning more carefully in planning your career. What might be fine in the private sector or in private life becomes very public once you start living off the yield of the taxpayer’s labor. And again, think of the larger picture, the example you set for your community and constituents, who might not have the means to enter single motherhood as easily.
Updated: The Sleuth at the WaPo has a post about Linda Sanchez’s announcement, along with a nice picture of her boyfriend “Sully.” They are saying that they are “unofficially engaged.” WTF? Note how she’s the only Congresswoman to have become pregnant while being unmarried. Leave it to the Latina, right? We sure are paving the way.