By Susanne Maynes
I was eight weeks along with my second pregnancy when I started spotting. The doctor explained I was experiencing a “threatened miscarriage” and that I needed to stay off my feet.
After arranging help with my busy one-year-old so I could obey the bed rest instructions for a few days, the miscarriage was no longer only threatening.
Several years later, after two more babies, I was at 20 weeks gestation when, again, I started spotting.
I went in for an ultrasound and discovered the baby had stopped growing three weeks previous.
Again, the medical professionals who helped me referred to my situation as a late miscarriage.
The doctor and the midwife who attended me during those pregnancies certainly knew the term “spontaneous abortion.” Perhaps it was even listed that way on my patient chart each time.
I don’t know. I only know I’m grateful that I did not have to hear that term when I was already in so much emotional pain.
A friend of mine had a miscarriage around the same time, but she was not so fortunate. To this day, she tells me vehemently, “I hate that they called my miscarriage a “spontaneous abortion.”
I don’t blame her.
Fast forward to today, with social media offering the unfortunately wide-ranging opportunity to be publicly mean-spirited and hard-hearted.
“If you’ve had a miscarriage,” tweeted someone recently, “you’ve had an abortion.”
The remark—made by an MD, no less—was based on a flimsy, semantic correlation between “induced abortion” and “spontaneous abortion.”
This is nothing less than junior high mean-girl attitude flaunted by adults.
To conflate the heartbreaking experience of losing a baby through no fault of your own with purposefully ending your baby’s life by aborting him or her is the height of absurdity, not to mention cruelty.
And how ironic that it comes from the “choice” crowd, since one of these situations happens quite apart from choice, while the other is clearly and directly caused by a choice.
This clever and cruel obfuscation is nothing new coming from abortion advocates. They’ve been masters of misusing words for decades.
Rationalization. Blame shifting. Gaslighting. Calling evil good, and good evil. All to try to make abortion acceptable and morally neutral.
The tweet went on to say, “Your doctors have likely sheltered you from this terminology, rendered unspeakable by politicians with the intention of shaming and disempowering you.”
Not only does this doctor evidently think women are stupid, incapable of telling the difference between happenstance miscarriage and purposeful abortion—now she’s flat-out lying to them about pro-life people’s motives.
Stop with the victim card, already. The abortion industry is not the victim here.
Pro-life people are not out to “shame and disempower” women. Far from it.
We’re here to support women facing unplanned pregnancies and to inform them of all their options, not just one.
And we’re here for women who need emotional healing from real guilt after an abortion.
You see, real guilt doesn’t go away by simply rewording reality and gaslighting the other side.
Real guilt after abortion is grounded in the preciousness and sacredness of human life in the eyes of God.
Yet abortion, like all moral wrongdoing, is forgivable.
The God who declares our high value as His image-bearers and forbids taking innocent human life is the same God who forgives us and heals us when we break His moral commands.
Rationalizing our sin has no effect on removing it. Playing semantic games with it does not erase the sickness in our souls.
Not obfuscation, but honest, humble confession is the first step to recovering our sense of worth. I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside some very courageous women as they did the emotional work and found wholeness for their souls.
It is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed.
So, we “shame and disempower” women?
I think not.
Abortion advocates should stop trying to deceive women with word games. They should stop pouring salt on the wounds of those suffering miscarriage.
They should stop pretending there is no such thing as real guilt for a real moral offense.
If abortion advocates want to prove they’re pro-woman, they need to start telling women the truth.
They need to demonstrate that they care about women as individuals, not just as cogs in the wheels of a lucrative industry.
Meanwhile, we’ll be here, supporting the woman who doesn’t know what to do about her unplanned pregnancy. We’ll be here for the woman who’s haunted by a past abortion.
And the woman whose heart is broken by a miscarriage?
We’ll tenderly care for her as she walks through the valley of the shadow of loss, mourning her child.
We won’t heap shame on her by equating her personal tragedy with a purposeful action.
She’ll be safe with us.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.