Abortion and Miscarriage: The Emptiness of Lies and the Fullness of Life
When speaking of chemical abortion, Linda Prine, who counsels women who self-manage their abortion with the use of mifepristone and misoprostol, told Vox, “[W]e get calls from people completely freaked out, crying, sobbing ...” She continued, “They’re calling us scared, because they’ve passed a tiny but recognizable fetus, and they are freaked out and they weren’t expecting that. And it’s frankly traumatizing …”
It is traumatizing. A mother who takes chemical abortion drugs becomes her own abortionist. She ingests the pills, she determines whether she is hemorrhaging, and she disposes of the undeniably human body of her unborn child — a person the abortion industry told her was just a clump of cells.
As the decision date draws near for Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, the case deciding whether the FDA bypassed necessary protocols in approving the abortion drug regimen, the abortion industry is nervous. In fact, abortion businesses are so frightened that they have begun arguing that mifepristone and misoprostol, the chemical abortion drugs, are “essential for miscarriage treatment” and that removing the approval for the drug regimen puts the lives of women who have miscarried in danger — women like me.
When I miscarried my first child in 2020, I quickly learned that that my burning desire for the world to remember my son made most people uncomfortable.
Many brushed off his short life with a quick “You’ll be pregnant again in no time,” or “Miscarriage is so common.” But most jarring were the words of the radiologist reading my post-miscarriage ultrasound, who callously uttered, “Your uterus is empty; clearly, you aborted.”
In 2022, I miscarried again and again was inconsolable as for the second time I held the tiny body of my miscarried child in my hand. This time, though, I was met with encouragement. Everyone I told I had miscarried acknowledged I had lost a child. I felt assured that this baby would be remembered — that people understood she had made an impact on the world. It seemed in two years, through countless moms who miscarried sharing their stories, people had learned.
But then came the barrage of articles from left-wing media arguing that miscarriage and abortion are incredibly similar; that because of laws protecting unborn children, women who have incomplete miscarriages — ones like mine where there was tissue left in the uterus — will not be able to get the medication they need to ensure that they don’t develop a life-threatening infection. Some even argued that a miscarriage was an abortion. The words of the radiologist from 2020 echoed in my ears, “Your uterus is empty; clearly, you aborted.”
I’m sure the radiologist knew I hadn’t paid an abortionist to kill my child, but I know that unlike this man who simply had no bedside manner, the abortion industry is purposely conflating the medical terminology and treatment for a spontaneous abortion (a miscarriage) with the cultural definition of abortion — the intentional killing of an unborn child.
Certainly, there are aspects of a miscarriage and an abortion that are the same. Both women lose a beautiful unborn child, and both women will likely feel the pain of this loss deeply. But there is a critical difference.
In a miscarriage, an unborn baby dies because of circumstances outside a woman’s control. In an abortion, a hitman is hired to kill an unborn child. In most cases, that hitman is an abortionist, but what makes chemical abortion especially heinous is that the FDA’s reckless approval of this drug regimen has made the unborn child’s mother the hitman — and even worse, she is the one with a faulty gun that can easily backfire and kill her as well.
In addition to claiming the lives of their children, chemical abortion drugs maim women. In fact, one study of over 40,000 women found that these drugs are four times more likely to cause severe complications like hemorrhaging, infection, and retained fetal parts, than the already dangerous surgical abortion. Meta-analyses and international records linkage studies demonstrate failed chemical abortions require surgery for 39% of mothers who attempt it during the second trimester.
And while the abortion industry claims that laws protecting life — or a court decision removing FDA approval for the drug regimen — will endanger women who have had miscarriages, nothing could be further from the truth.
The risk of increased bleeding posed by mifepristone, the pill in the drug regimen that kills the unborn child, far outweighs any potential benefit it could have in treating miscarriage. The second drug, misoprostol, used for expelling the remains of the unborn child or fetal tissue, has been and will continue to be prescribed to women who have incomplete miscarriages and must regrettably remove the remains of their deceased child. In this case, the intent and action of this drug is not to take a life — it is to clear the uterus and prevent infection.
The abortion industry knows that since the Dobbs decision, its days of unfettered killing of unborn children are numbered. And so, it is seeking to fortify its place in society by manipulating the stories of women who have miscarried a child to suit pro-abortion purposes.
It’s time for every mom who has a baby she is desperate to meet waiting for her in heaven — those who have miscarried and those who have aborted — to stand up and tell the abortion industry to stop using miscarriage to justify hurting other women and killing their children, and to start telling the truth that every woman who has miscarried knows intimately: every unborn child, including every “tiny recognizable fetus” is a son or daughter whose life is valuable beyond measure.
Mary Szoch is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.