What 6 weeks pregnant actually means is not what many people think it means

You're six weeks pregnant. That means six weeks ago an egg and a sperm met, did the happy dance together, and got the baby ball rolling in your uterus, right?

Wrong.

Pregnancy weeks are measured in a strange way, but it appears to be the most consistent method of measurement considering the varied reality of menstruation. (A 28-day cycle between periods is common, but many women have longer or shorter cycles, and some have totally irregular ones.)

A Twitter thread from NBC News's Ginger Gibson explains that pregnancy is measured from the first day of a woman's last period, which is generally approximately two weeks before an egg would ever get a chance to meet a sperm.

So technically speaking, in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, there is no actual pregnancy. Weird, right? But that's how the "XX weeks pregnant" calculation works.


Three weeks is generally the earliest that the actual pregnancy (meaning a fertilized egg being implanted in the uterus) would exist, since pregnancy is calculated retroactively to the first day of the last period.

And at three weeks, you wouldn't know you were pregnant. Neither would an at-home pregnancy test.

At four weeks, you might notice your period is late. Then again, you might not, because some people bleed even when they're pregnant. Also, periods can be few days late or irregular for a whole host of reasons.

At this point, a pregnancy test might tell you you're pregnant.

However, a 2018 study found that the average woman in the U.S. detects pregnancy at 5.5 weeks, and many don't know they're pregnant until after six weeks. Texas's abortion ban would maybe give people two weeks after finding out they're pregnant to make a decision, but likely much less time.

So Texas Governor Greg Abbott's assertion that the law "provides at least 6 weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion" (in response to a question asking why he would force a victim of rape or incest to carry a pregnancy that stems from sexual assault) is categorically false. You can't make a decision about something you don't even know exists, and it's virtually impossible for the average person to know they are pregnant until they are already at least four weeks along.

What's stunning is that this is just *one* *very basic* misunderstanding of how pregnancy works among a host of others that have been shared by people who are hot on legislating pregnancy. If someone misunderstands the basics this badly, what business do they have making laws about it?

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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