The Biological Ignorance of Stupak-Mills

Of course, we all ‘know’ that the only women who get abortions are sluts, but what never ceases to amaze me is how ignorant pro-illegal, unsafe abortion proponents are about biology (let’s not even get start on the ridiculous notion that sperm and ova are ‘dead’). The recent Stupak-Pitts amendment doesn’t appear to allow women who have a dead fetus to get an abortion (italics mine):

By broadly writing in that insurers can chose whether or not to cover “abortion services,” pro-life amendments don’t just affect their intended victims — women seeking a way out of an unwanted or medically harmful pregnancy. They also affect another group of victims — women whose pregnancies have already ended but have not yet miscarried.
I’m one of those women, and this past Halloween I had what the hospital officially termed an “abortion.”

Hospitals and doctors in general do not have terminology to classify a difference between the termination of a live pregnancy and one in which the fetus has already died. To them, a D&C is a D&C, regardless of the state of the “conception materials” removed. Regardless of how many times I made sure to mention to the staff, either for the sake of my sanity or to spare me some sort of imagined shame, that I was ridding myself of my “dead fetus,” to them, it was all the same.
I had learned the day before that the baby I thought was nearly 12 weeks old had no heartbeat, and had actually died at 8 weeks. I was given three options: wait for a miscarriage to occur on its own, something I was told my body had no intention of doing anytime soon, take medication that would expel the fetus, passing it in my own home (classified a “chemical abortion”) or come in for a D&C to remove the fetal materials.
As much as I struggled with the sudden realization that the pregnancy was over, I also found myself trying to decide financially what I was willing to do. A chemical abortion would cost $40, but I would be alone, bleeding, and it could still be incomplete and I would require a D&C anyway, since my pregnancy was so advanced. Surgery would be quick, total, and under controlled circumstances, but would likely be our full maxed insurance amount of $1500. And of course, there was the free option of waiting for my body to finally realize I wasn’t pregnant, but after 4 weeks the risk of infection was steadily climbing, increasing my chances of future miscarriage, infertility, or even death. With a toddler at home, and still nursing hopes for extending our family some day, this was not an option.
I chose the quick and total route of the D&C, despite the costs, prioritizing my health and the health of possible future children. I was lucky, and could afford to make that choice, because currently, my insurance cannot chose to refuse to cover what the hospital as termed an abortion.
Thanks to the Stupak amendment, that can now change.
Abortion is a very broad term. The pro-life contingent would like you to think it only applies to selfish, irresponsible women, murdering babies out of fear of inconvenience. That’s a caricature they have invented to push their own agenda. Many of the women who seek out abortions are women who have been raped, who have learned that their child could not survive, have learned that giving birth could physically and permanently harm them. Or, thanks to newer and vaguer language, women who have already lost the life they were carrying, and need intervention to save their own.

Because nothing says freedom like forcing a woman with a dead fetus to get a sepsis infection.
It is tragic when ideology collides with human experience, and humanity loses.

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Biological Ignorance of Stupak-Mills

  1. Katherine says:

    Thank you for this. If only people that support the amendment were listening to stories like these.

  2. edward says:

    This illustrates one of the basic problems of our political system: politicians elected for their charisma seldom understand the technical realities of the laws they write. My sister-in-law had to have a D&C for similar reasons. While I’m not sure I’d be able to abort a viable fetus if I were a woman, I also feel very strongly that not allowing a woman to have control over her own body constitutes a form a sexual slavery.

  3. Catharine says:

    There are differences in the language that should keep this procedure legal. Spontaneous abortion=miscarriage. D & C = removal of the ‘products of conception,’ and there are legitimate medical reasons to do this in the case of an incomplete spontaneous abortion. There is no way to make it illegal to have a miscarriage. (Although I’m sure plenty of pro-lifers would like to blame this, too, on the woman.) But a D & C is a procedure that is used both for incomplete spontaneous abortions and various other reasons as well. My grandmother had to have one at about age 69, and she definitely wasn’t pregnant. I think, at least I hope, it would be fairly tough to outlaw a surgical procedure. Of course, women are entitled to the right to decide whether or not to use our bodies in order to host a potential human. That is a fight we are just going to have to keep fighting.

  4. BJ says:

    Whilst I’m an Australian – and thus not affected by this law – I had a similar experience a number of years ago. I had a missed miscarriage (the fetus died in utero and was not expelled) and had to have a D&C. At the time, even though ultrasound had confirmed there was no growth for two weeks and no heartbeat one of the Doctors who was attending me asked me why I wanted an abortion. As this was a planned and wanted child, obviously I didn’t react kindly to the comment. It is this sort of pro-life attitude that threatens not only a women’s right to choose, but also her right to health (as mentioned if I didn’t have a D&C, I ran the high risk of infection while my body took it’s own sweet time to realise I was no longer pregnant.)

  5. murison says:

    Somewhat off-topic: they are not pro-lifers. There is nothing positive or life-affirming or life-preserving about these cretins and their delusional superstitious views. They are anti-abortionists and anti-choice (and, while we’re considering it: anti-woman). Accurate terminology matters.

Comments are closed.