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What Is Her.meneutics?

The Christianity Today women’s blog provides news and analysis from the perspective of evangelical women. We cover news stories and books related to international justice and evangelism, pregnancy and sexual ethics, marriage, parenting, and celibacy, pop culture, health and body image, raising girls, and women in the church and parachurch.

Her.meneutics was co-founded by Katelyn Beaty and Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

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All posts from “pregnancy”

Primetime Pregnancy: Why We Need Birthing Films

September 19, 2012 10:04 AM

Candice, a regular Her.meneutics reader, wrote to me recently in response to this post, asking what I thought about women sharing their photos and videos of giving birth. Another Christian website had called this practice “immodest”; Candice, who is...

No Exceptions: The Case for a Consistent Pro-Life Ethic

September 12, 2012 8:56 AM

The trouble with “exceptions” on abortion—whether one is pro-life “with exceptions” or pro-choice “with exceptions”—is that exceptions make doling out abortions seem as capricious as Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi: “No abortion for you. Next!” With the recent blunder of a...

Are Pregnant Women Who Have Birth Plans 'Selfish'?

September 6, 2012 9:20 AM

It’s okay to be disappointed with your birthing options. Chances are, if you’re an American woman, you don’t have many choices compared with, say, women in the UK or Germany. But you probably do have good reasons for wanting choices....

Bowing Down to Your Birthing Ball?: Dismantling the Idol of the Perfect Birth

July 30, 2012 9:27 AM

Tears slipped down my cheek as I cuddled our one-day-old third-born child—a handsome baby boy. I couldn’t believe that I was finally holding my baby, but that’s not why I was crying. I was frustrated that one of my...

The Unnoticed Merits of Having a Midwife During Pregnancy

July 13, 2012 8:29 AM

In the classic novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which takes place in early-20th-century New York, a midwife attends the birth of the desperately poor Francie Nolan. Later, Francie's aunt insists on having a doctor at her birth, evidence that...

What You Need to Know About the Hidden Benefits (and Costs) of New Prenatal Tests

July 6, 2012 9:19 AM

At first blush, the news that scientists can diagnose thousands of genetic disorders in an unborn human baby looks incredible. Using a blood sample from the mother and saliva from the father, scientists at the University of Washington mapped...

Why Women Today Are Eating Their Own Placentas

June 13, 2012 8:34 AM

January Jones ate hers, so why shouldn’t you? In the crunchy-mama circles I happily move in, for years I’ve heard of women who eat their own placenta--the blood-rich organ that connects an unborn baby to its mother’s blood supply--after giving...

Banking on God Alone: Why I Won't Be Freezing My Eggs

May 24, 2012 8:37 AM

For most of my life, any reference to “barren women” has conjured the biblical figures of Sarah, Rachel and Hannah — women who were married but infertile, until God graciously intervened. But as more fertile years have passed without a...

The Best Naked Pregnant Woman on a Magazine Cover

March 15, 2012 8:45 AM

I know it’s been done before. Sure, I get that it’s designed to shock and awe. And indeed, I realize it may cause some to stumble and plenty others to stand in judgment. But I must say: although I usually...

Unplanned Parenthood: The Blessing of an Inconvenient Pregnancy

February 16, 2012 8:42 AM

About a year ago my husband and I began to consider expanding our family. We spent countless hours thinking, talking, and praying about this giant step. We are both in school with little income to speak of, so we weren’t...

The Kate Middleton Baby Watch, and Why We Shouldn't Participate

January 11, 2012 9:16 AM

If last year was the year of the Royal Wedding, this year is definitely set to be the year of the Royal Baby Watch. Virtually every tabloid is plastered with some variation of the news that the former Kate Middleton...

A Word to Michelle Duggar's Critics: What it Means to Publicly Grieve a Miscarriage

December 15, 2011 1:00 PM

I’ll just say it: I’m inclined to criticize the Duggars. Yes, a part of me wants to respect their right to have “as many children as God gives” them. But I also have real concerns about their choices. I’m concerned...

Birth Pangs: When God Shows Up in Pregnancy

December 12, 2011 11:40 AM

Last week I went to Johnsen & Taylor Inspirational Books and Gifts to listen to five women authors from the Redbud Writers Guild present "Women and Writing: The Importance of Using Your Voice for Christ's Kingdom." After the lively discussion,...

Two Stories about Babies with Down Syndrome

July 28, 2011 10:15 AM

“It’s a girl!” I received these words with tears of joy when our third child, Marilee, was born. We could have known her sex months earlier, of course, but we decided to wait. And yet, as I wrote in a...

Prayers for Japan's Unborn Children

March 21, 2011 9:20 AM

I was a fairly relaxed mother-to-be during each of my three pregnancies. I didn’t even try to follow the overwrought “Best-Odds Diet” popularized by the blockbuster What to Expect When You’re Expecting, for example, preferring my normal, reasonably healthy...

The King's Speech and Doulas

March 10, 2011 9:03 AM

Turns out that Lionel Logue, the speech therapist to King George VI, played beautifully by Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech, had no formal training in speech therapy, or any kind of therapy, in fact. So what did he have?...

A Woman, Not a 'Gestational Carrier'

January 18, 2011 10:03 AM

Editor's Note: This is the second Her.meneutics post responding to Melanie Thernstrom's New York Times Magazine article on twiblings. Ellen Painter Dollar covered it last week. As millions around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus, Elton John and his...

What Celebrity Miscarriages Teach Us

January 7, 2011 10:45 AM

Suddenly, it seems as if miscarriage is everywhere. Famous folks from Barbara Bush to Mariah Carey have recently disclosed previous pregnancy losses. Lily Allen suffered her second miscarriage in November, and Lisa Ling shared her own grief following a miscarriage...

In the Shadow of Miscarriage

November 15, 2010 11:30 AM

Miscarriage has been in the news cycle recently. Former President Bush confessed in an interview last week that his mother, after miscarrying, kept the baby in a jar and showed it to her young son. Bush says that act solidified...

Actually, It Takes Much More Than a Village

October 28, 2010 9:49 AM

I picked up Time with trepidation. I’m nearly six months pregnant, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what Annie Murphy Paul had to tell me in her cover story, “How the first nine months shape the rest of...

Abortion Case: Womb vs. Egg

October 15, 2010 10:10 AM

A British Columbia couple creates an embryo using in vitro fertilization (IVF). They contractually hire a surrogate mother to carry the child. Then they discover, through prenatal screening, that the baby has Down syndrome. The couple asks the surrogate...

The Trouble with Confessing in Church

September 29, 2010 11:00 AM

I’ve come to believe that an institutional church is not a safe place for one person’s confession. Several years ago, while we were attending a small nondenominational church, Pastor Donn* announced at the end of Sunday worship that we would...

The Glamorous Life of the Pregnant Teenager

July 30, 2010 10:27 AM

When fast-fashion chain Forever 21 announced this month that they were rolling out a maternity line in five states — three of which have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country — they were accused of what has become...

Parenting Imperfecta

July 26, 2010 9:45 AM

"World's Smallest Mother Risks Life for More Babies" blared the headline. Stacey Herald, whose 2-foot 4-inch stature qualifies her for the “smallest mom” superlative, recently gave birth to her third child. Despite significant health risks associated with pregnancy, Stacey and...

Grieving a Miscarriage

July 23, 2010 9:05 AM

Today all I can think about is what might have been. It’s a Saturday, bitter cold and bright, harsh, splintering. We’re doing normal Saturday things, and since we recently moved into our new house, “normal” includes unpacking the remaining boxes,...

Offering Grace to Infertile Couples

June 8, 2010 10:57 AM

“You can always adopt.” “Are you sure you want kids? You can borrow mine this weekend.” “I know you’re going to have a child. I can just sense it from the Lord.” These are just a few of the comments...

Perplexed by the Pill

May 5, 2010 10:30 AM

The Pill turned 50 this year, and Time magazine commemorated the anniversary last week with Nancy Gibbs’s cover story, “Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill." Gibbs thoroughly and thoughtfully provides a scientific and sociological history of birth...

Get Your Free Human Eggs

March 24, 2010 8:40 AM

Imagine that you are a woman with an intractable medical problem. You awake each day desperate to find a way to live the life you have dreamed of. Your doctors have offered increasingly sophisticated, invasive, and expensive treatments, to no...

Pregnant Olympians Are Not 'Selfish'

February 23, 2010 9:11 AM

Last Friday a friend forwarded me a link to an article titled “Are Pregnant Athletes Selfish?” She guessed correctly that I might have something to say about it. It took one glance at the big black letters of the headline...

A New Frontier in Pro-Life Stem-Cell Research

February 18, 2010 9:24 AM

A team of researchers at Georgia’s health science university, the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), announced last week that they are conducting a clinical trial using stem cells from umbilical-cord blood as a treatment for cerebral palsy. The trial will...

A Walk to Beautiful: A Must-See Film

January 29, 2010 10:44 AM

When a woman endures prolonged labor while giving birth, her bladder or rectal tissue rips or tears, forming a fistula, a hole between her birth passage and internal organs. A simple surgery costing $300 can fix the problem, but...

The Day We Let Our Son Live

November 2, 2009 4:28 PM

When it comes to the chance for those with genetic defects to live, the news has not been good on either side of the Atlantic. Last week’s Telegraph reported that of all women in the U.K. who find out through...

Does Religiosity Encourage Teen Pregnancy?

September 28, 2009 8:49 AM

Some social liberals used a recently published study in Reproductive Health that found a strong link between high religiosity and teen pregnancy rates to further their case for why abstinence-only sex education doesn't work. Double XX, Mother Jones, Bonnie Erbe...

In the Loop: Pre-Sex Prayer, More Women Pastors, and Father-Daughter Baseball Bonding

September 17, 2009 11:31 AM

‘Strong Link’ Between Religious Beliefs and Teen Birth Rates A new study published in Reproductive Health demonstrates that states with “increased religiosity” tend to have the highest teen birth rates. In order to determine religiosity, researchers averaged the percentage of...

The Case for Male Circumcision

September 10, 2009 10:04 AM

What mother hasn’t, in the halcyon days after the birth of a son, felt her ferocious she-wolf instincts kick in when it comes time for her boy to be circumcised? Having perhaps suffered violence to her genitals during the birth,...

Journalists Link Rising Teen Pregnancy Rates to Bush Administration

July 23, 2009 10:02 AM

The rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. rose steadily during the Bush administration, U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported earlier this week. The Centers for Disease Control press release mentions three statistics as "signs that progress...

When a Pro-Life Blogger Goes Too Far

June 18, 2009 9:25 AM

Last Sunday night, a popular pro-life blogger known as "April's Mom" or "B" posted the tragic news: Her newborn daughter, whom she had carried to term though diagnosed with a terminal case of Trisomy 13 and HPE, had died...

Introducing Julia Duin

May 27, 2009 1:52 PM

I'm very grateful to have been asked to join the list of contributors to Her.meneutics. I have worked as a full-time religion reporter, but I also veer off into related topics, such as a piece I did for Mother's...

When Childbirth Means Risking Your Life

May 26, 2009 8:48 AM

"Pregnancy and childbirth kill more than 536,000 women a year, more than half of them in Africa," writes Denise Grady from Tanzania in the May 24, 2009, New York Times. Her article, "Where Life's Start Is a Deadly Risk," contrasts...

Obama's Kinder, Gentler Culture War

May 18, 2009 11:59 AM

I didn't see this one coming. K. and I had been talking about her sex life. We had arranged to meet before a sexual abstinence event at a church in Michigan. I was there interviewing young people for a book...

Women Benefit from Health-Care Overhaul

May 6, 2009 8:56 AM

In an attempt to stave off a major federal overhaul of the $2.5 trillion health-care industry, health-insurance companies agreed yesterday to stop insuring women at higher premium rates than they do men. Karen Ignagni, president of the trade group America's...

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Children?

April 21, 2009 8:33 AM

The last of Nadya Suleman's octuplets has been discharged from the hospital and is now at home with his family. Following a three-month stay at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower, California, Jonah Angel Suleman - who weighed only a...

Meanwhile, What about the Women and Children?

April 3, 2009 8:32 AM

On March 18, my friend Tim Morgan posted an article on Christianity Today's Liveblog called "Why the Pope Is Right about Condoms and HIV in Africa." "You can't resolve [the AIDS crisis] with the distribution of condoms," the pope...

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