By Kyle Townes
For generations the abortion industry has directly impacted the way miscarriages are experienced across America. This includes the medical profession that has been deeply influenced by the language of the “pro-choice” movement to the point that women experiencing miscarriages are routinely told false information about their own children and that information impacts their mother’s memories for life.
For example, women are often told by their providers that during the 1st trimester their babies are only “tissue” or “the products of conception.” That is when the vast majority (80%!) of miscarriages happen. I am only one of the countless women who have been told the same thing. Many women do not know that this isn’t true and that they can, in fact, find their babies and hold them. They can cremate or bury them. They can have that closure and that memory.
I held my 8 week old’s tiny body in my hand when I miscarried only last month, and I can attest that even at that early stage, a baby most certainly does have a body. My baby had a mouth that could open wide, eyes, a nose, hands, arms, legs, a tummy, and even a tiny cord. My baby was very small, and hidden inside a sac that I also wasn’t told about (and most women aren’t told about that either!). You have to cut the sac open to find your baby.
I was also told another common lie, which is that birthing my 1st trimester baby “would be like a heavy period,” when in fact birthing a baby was just like….well…birthing a baby (only this baby was very, very small!). But if you talk about the baby as being only “tissue,” then it follows that bleeding into the toilet and flushing the contents, as if were like a period, would be the best way to deal with it.
The pro-choice movement has even impacted stillbirths in the 2nd and 3rd trimester by their long history of assigning worth to a child based on his or her gestational age. The result is an unspoken grief-gauge that women who have miscarried are supposed to accept.
You get more sympathy, and are allowed to grieve more deeply, the older the baby was at the point of death.
What’s the problem with this? It isn’t based in reality. Reality is that when your baby dies, part of your heart, as the mother, goes with them.
For countless women across America, their children who died at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 22 weeks, or 35 weeks, were dearly loved and will be painfully missed. Those women grieve deeply and should be supported equally regardless of when they lost their baby. Their children were of equal worth. Their lives weren’t more or less valuable depending on their age.
They aren’t a bottle of wine that’s worth more the older it is. They are human beings with an eternal and intrinsic value. And what’s more, their mothers know this. But our society, heavily influenced by the pro-choice mentality, tries to limit their value and call into doubt their mother’s grief, whenever possible.
We think that the pro-choice movement’s worst crime is murdering children. And it is. But there is another awful crime we don’t talk about, and that is denying the child’s very existence in the first place. These are children who have really lived and who really existed and who then died unintentionally.
They deny these babies ever even existed for 80% of those 1 in 4 women who miscarry. That is a terrible crime and one we can change right now.
We, as pro-life supporters, can take that personal risk and speak about our babies from the beginning as real and worthy of love. Is that scary? Yes! Is it totally faux pas? Absolutely!
But is it shameful if we miscarry? NO! It is a painful and tragic reality. A reality that 1 in 4 women experience. The reality is that sometimes our unborn babies die and our hearts are broken. Reality is that sometimes we need support and help and love. And the more women speak about their experiences, the more support we can find. The reality is that we are that baby’s mother forever, even if they died young. We have nothing to be ashamed of, and we need to be bold if we are going to affect change in this area.
What if you aren’t ready to do that in your own life? That’s ok. There are other ways to affect change. We can stand up to our prenatal care providers and ask them questions before giving them our business. We can ask them what they would say and do if we miscarried in the first trimester, and even beyond that (because even if we don’t experience a miscarriage, we want providers who value our baby’s lives from conception until natural death!). We can ask them to explain how our babies are developing when we have our early appointments.
If they dehumanize our children, we can choose to no longer support that provider. If we cannot leave a provider due to insurance or other considerations, then we can speak up. We don’t have to fear or defer to their terminology and labels regarding our children. We can be bold!
We can also speak the truth during a miscarriage. Women, listen up: If you do lose a baby through miscarriage, you have a right to ask to hold your baby and to have their body for burial or cremation. YOU are the mother. You can be bold and act like the mother you are and defend your child’s dignity and rights even when your child is tiny.
We as pro-life women hold so much more power then we give ourselves credit for. The abortion industry has tried to strip us of our children’s humanity and has tried to call into doubt our meaningful bond with our children by labeling it as merely a mental game. We as individuals can stand up against that and now is the time!