Abortion, Miscarriage, and the Reality of an Unborn Child
At Friday’s Iowa roundtable, Vivek Ramaswamy shared the story of his first child. His wife, Apoorva, was in her fourth year of residency when the couple found out she was pregnant. The child was an unexpected blessing, but they were delighted. They shared the news with their families and began writing letters to their baby each night. Then, one day, about three and a half months into the pregnancy, Apoorva woke up bleeding. She miscarried their first child.
Vivek shared the sorrow the loss of their first child brought to his entire family and the hope they have that their child is with his Creator. He went on to tell the traumatic story of their pregnancy with their second son. Again, his wife, Apoorva started bleeding. This time, though, when she went in for the ultrasound, the doctors found a heartbeat. That heartbeat belonged to Vivek’s son who quickly joined him on stage, as Ramaswamy explained, “That’s what gives us our commitment. …When you bring life into this world, you protect all life, born and unborn. ... I think that God taught us that through a different way than we had planned.”
Every mother and father who has miscarried can affirm the truth of Vivek’s words. As mothers who will only have the opportunity to hold our miscarried babies when we reach heaven, there is a fear that the rest of the world will forget our unique, unrepeatable child. But Vivek’s story reminded our country of the impact every life has — regardless of how long or how short that life is. His first child changed the world, and on Friday night, the story of that child’s life touched the hearts of countless people, making many pause and consider what abortion actually does.
The lives of children lost to parents who aren’t on the national stage also forever change the family. The woman who quietly miscarried at home and wept in her bathroom knows it is, in fact, a life she had carried. Families who have lost miscarried children know the deep pain of losing their children. We don’t suffer because we simply lost a future we envisioned; we suffer because we have lost the unique life that we once carried — a life we loved and will always love because they are our sons and daughters. And while Americans seem to be on their way to accepting this truth about miscarried babies, the same cannot be said about those who are unwanted and therefore aborted.
Unfortunately, in America, abortion is often spoken of in euphemisms. It’s known as “choice,” “reproductive freedom,” and “a woman’s right.” If a culture of life is going to prevail, however, there must be a commitment to sharing the truth.
On Sunday, Argentina, a country that in 2020 moved from protecting unborn children at fertilization to only protecting unborn children after 14 weeks gestation, elected a new president, Javier Milei. Just a few months earlier, Milei sat down in an interview with Tucker Carlson. Carlson questioned Milei on all of the hot button issues — inflation, gender ideology, abortion, Donald Trump, China, climate change, Pope Francis, and more.
When it came to abortion, Tucker simply asked, “You oppose abortion, why?” The president did not respond with an appeal to human dignity. Instead, he replied as a libertarian explaining that liberalism is rooted in the principle of non-aggression and defense of life, liberty, and property. He went on to state that one of the most fundamental points of being a libertarian is the defense of the right to life. Had he stopped there, the president’s explanation of why he is opposed to abortion would have been strong, and — though very different from what a libertarian in America would say — would have been a fairly typical response for a pro-life American politician. But he continued. “It’s the fact that life begins at conception…” he said. “While it’s true that women have the right to her own body … that child is not her body. That makes abortion a murder, enabled and aggravated by a power imbalance against a child that has no way to defend itself.”
These powerful words boldly proclaimed from an elected country leader were refreshing, and this truth is something Americans are unaccustomed to hearing. But if we believe, as countless mothers and fathers know to be true, that miscarriage is the loss of a precious unborn child, then we must also believe that the intentional killing of that defenseless unborn child by an abortionist is murder.
Our country can’t keep living in a state of cognitive dissonance where we claim to support women who miscarry, acknowledging the tragic loss of their child’s life, while simultaneously dehumanizing the unborn and calling them merely “a clump of cells” when they are not wanted by their mothers. It is this dissonance that allows Americans to justify one of the greatest evils in world history — the killing of the most innocent and defenseless children.
Both Vivek’s heart-wrenching story and President Milei’s frank discussion lead to the same conclusion: unborn life must be protected from the moment of fertilization. Let’s pray that our elected leaders have the courage to recognize this. And let’s pray that the tragic — and typically unavoidable — loss of life in miscarriage leads to the day when America recognizes that the intentional killing of that unborn child is murder.
Mary Szoch is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.
Katherine Beck Johnson, J.D. is Research Fellow for Legal and Policy Studies at Family Research Council.