Dr. Samantha Decombel is a British geneticist who was invited to give a talk at a conference in Brussels. Then the organizers learned that she was pregnant, and they revoked the invitation. Because, they said, they were concerned about the risk of travel to her health.
You know, European Commission, pregnancy is not usually considered a disease, and it’s awfully patronizing of you to make health decisions for people you haven’t met, and for whom you have no knowledge of their actual medical condition.
What’s next? Will you decide to withdraw invitations to scientists who are too fat, too old, who are afraid of flying? Do you only make executive decisions about the health of speakers who are women? Have you considered asking invited men about the status of their families? Oh, you can’t come, your wife is 7 months pregnant and you should stay home to help her; no, no, you’ve got two young children, it would be irresponsible of us to ask you to part from them for a few days, they desperately need you.
I can pretty much guarantee those scenarios never happen.
There’s a general principle involved here, that we should allow people to make their own reasonably well-informed health decisions. Except, apparently, in the case of women, who are too innocent and childlike to be trusted with their own bodies.