Driving While Pregnant

A Lebanese woman was fined $500+ by Dubai’s traffic court for driving while pregnant.

The woman got rear-ended, and lost her child as a result of the accident – she claimed it wasn’t her fault but Dubai’s daily paper The National says it happened because she didn’t keep far enough from the car in front.

Salah Bu Farousha, head of traffic prosecution in Duabi, said women in the third trimester of pregnancy should avoid driving altogether to protect lives of mother and child.

I’m reminded of the multiple trips I made on the insanely crowded Beltway to my unpleasant bully of an OB-GYN in Rockville, MD. I sure as hell didn’t want to drive there, but as a 35+ pregnant woman, supposedly at risk due to my advanced (!) age, I had more medical visits than most pregnant women. So there I was, driving in what Salah Bu Farousha would call suicidal fashion, back and forth, my unborn Raihana wedged between me and the steering wheel.

I wonder if, had we been in the UAE during my pregnancy, Svend and I would have been held accountable for not being wealthy enough to afford a chauffeur for my OB visits. Perhaps Svend should be fined for not taking off work every time I had an OB appointment. Perhaps all of our friends ought to be fined for not offering to drive me.

Indeed, perhaps we should be held doubly accountable because I was driving a beat-up 1992 Toyota Camry that couldn’t even accelerate properly. The passenger side didn’t lock. So by driving in such a car, in a busy, high-crime area, I was putting my foetus’s life at risk everyday.

I was punished several times on the road in Petworth where we lived by angry drivers behind me who thought I was driving slowly just to irritate them. On one occasion, I was driving to the OB for my fasting blood glucose test, and happened to slow someone down by driving slow in front of him. The driver pursued me and hurled a bottle at my (fortunately closed) window. Fitting punishment, Bu Farousha might comment. Fitting punishment for a reckless 37-year old woman who set out to drive on Georgia Avenue.

I propose that we ban driving towards a safer world for babies. Saudi Arabia has taken the pioneering step by banning women from driving. The next courageous step is to ban driving altogether. This will eliminate all likelihood of rear-ending, lost babies, and dead pregnant women.

Apart from driving, perhaps, indeed, the woman and her man ought to be fined for being pregnant. If she hadn’t gotten pregnant in the first place, why, she wouldn’t have lost her baby. Indeed, had she not been pregnant, she wouldn’t have gotten rear-ended, because everyone knows men and single and childless women have fewer accidents.

We need more courageous thinkers like Bu Farousha. I propose that we ban reproduction globally. Or at least, the latter end of reproduction. This would save lives by not having them in the first place.