Neglection

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It’s election time.

And whenever it’s election time, elective abortion invariably becomes a central part of the debate.

The show of babies, tiny babies, broken into bits and pooled in blood make their way across the internet.

Some people are talking about elective abortion being murder.

Other people are talking about the rights of women and their control over their bodies.

 

This is also October.

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

 

Elective abortion aside,

 

Why is no one talking about the death of our babies?

Why is no one talking about “the woman’s body” as she experiences pregnancy loss?

Her out of “control” feeling as her deceased baby is born?

Her grief?

Her loss?

Why are photos of our beloved miscarried or stillborn babies censored?

Why is no one talking about the father’s role as his wife gives birth to his miscarried or stillborn baby?

His out of “control” feeling as his deceased baby is born?

His grief?

His loss?

I don’t need to see broken bits of babies to value my baby who died and who I gave birth to.

I want to see babies who are loved at all ages and sizes.  I want babies born at any age to be treated with as much dignity as they can be, to invite all families into a place of healing, not to see the method of their death to be further used as a weapon of condemnation or shame or fear.

I could have needed the medical assistance in the birth of my miscarried baby that is a D&C.

I could have needed a D&C, and the visuals I have been given – the same that are strewn throughout the internet – by those who hold the same values of life as I do, are horrific, traumatizing images.

These visuals actually serve to confuse and shame mothers into thinking that a D&C of a miscarried baby is the same as an elective abortion.

These visuals serve as an insult to the very babies they depict.  As a mother who faced the daunting decision that is elective abortion but chose, through my own self exploration against it, I would at least want my baby’s physical form treated with dignity, and not used as a fear tactic, a point of mockery and humiliation for other mothers who are also sorely undersupported and unloved.

These visuals should never replace the photos of our beloved miscarried or stillborn babies, photos that capture dignity, compassion, humanity and love.

Parental bereavement should not be so terribly and completely silenced and overlooked – of stillborn, miscarried, or elective aborted babies.

I am pro-life.

I am Christian.

I am a bereaved mother.

And I am disappointed.

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Comments

  1. Christina says:

    I’m so sorry people have made you feel marginalized about your loss. Regardless of political belief, that’s not right. A life is a life.

    The reason abortion is almost never discussed alongside stillbirth is because abortion is an act of the mother, not an act of nature. Abortion is a choice to be legislated; stillbirth is not. This is why at election time, pro-life and pro-choice camps face off in battle. For miscarriage, there is no choice involved. It happens, it’s a tragedy, and for most cases, there’s nothing we can do to make it go away. Abortion, on the other hand, is an induced tragedy, a self-inflicted wound. I am 100% pro-life and I care very much about babies born still. On the other side of the same coin, nothing is worse than seeing this tragedy – the loss of life – inflicted on purpose. I hope we see an end to both of these tragedies in my lifetime. Stillborn, miscarried, or aborted – the one thing that all scenarios have in common is the fact that a life is forever lost.

    • Heidi Faith says:

      Thank you, Christina.
      I wonder if those who hold “pro-choice” beliefs the strongest, would take “pro-lifers” more seriously in our compassion and value of human life, if we demonstrated more of an act of compassion for the depth of tragedy that is miscarriage and stillbirth. It seems that only offering choice-centered counseling to the mother who endured an elective abortion and offering platitudes, minimization, and silence to the families who’ve endured miscarriage and stillbirth has, well, plenty of room for improvement.

      Advertising broken body parts assumes that the mother believes her decision to be a simple one – shoving her into silence and condemnation, and censoring lovingly photographed babies born via miscarriage or stillbirth assumes that bonding and loving our tiniest babies is strange, disgusting and repulsive – again, shoving mothers and fathers into silence and condemnation.

      The two messages contradict one another.

      Looking at the pain of broken hearted families, I believe, can have just as much, if not more, influence in regard to elective abortion than looking at broken bits of babies.

      Elective abortion aside, though, looking at pregnancy and infant loss, and the impact these tragedies have on families, is so extremely important, and so extremely neglected.

  2. Heidi, thanks for sharing your heart. Miscarriage is death, at least it is to the parents whether anybody else recognizes it or not. There is grief for the the family of the miscarried or still born baby. Grief, that unless you have experienced it yourself you may not understand, but tor those of us who have experienced it, we know the pain is real. Blessings to you and your ministry,
    Deborah H. Bateman

  3. It is sometimes too hard to see the grey in things. Many women do not know the wounds they are placing on themselves. Or they do know, but see no alternatives. Many if not most are terrified. Some are facing extreme pressure from their families, or their significant other. They feel they have no where to turn. They may be so morning sick that they cannot function, they may be at risk of losing their job. They may be so sick they cannot take care of their other children. It is very very easy to condemn these women, but they grieve, they feel the pain of the “self inflicted wound” and it is a wound that does not heal. They have no where to turn because all they hear and see is that they did this to themselves, and many truly feel they deserve to feel the pain they are feeling. It is like a living hell. It is just never so simple as black and white. There are all sorts of grey situations. Like the heartbreaking situation of ectopic pregnancy. What are those poor mothers to think as they lay there hemorrhaging from a ruptured tube knowing that to save their life, their baby has to die. Or the mother with sever pre-e long before viability. Or the homebirth mother who lost her baby because a problem was realized too late? It is too easy to separate losses into two categories, natural and self imposed but it is not so simple. Even some “natural losses” are possibly caused my some women’s choices such as smoking, drugs etc. It is easy to judge them, especially when you have suffered a loss and you did everything right. But they still grieve, they still need compassion, even when they themselves may not feel they deserve it. The mother who has to have a D&C and does not get to see the physical form of her baby needs to have to ability to mourn as well as the mother who is able to birth her lost baby into her own hands. What is a woman to think when she gets more compassion and understanding from the doctor at the woman’s clinic than from the pro life protestors who instantly judge her. Rather than pasting awful images of bodies on bilboards and through the internet, which in my opinion is not respectful of the little lives lost, they need to remove the reasons why women make these choices to begin with. Passing images along like that serves only to alienate those who need the message. It does not do what they want it to do, and every mother needs to be able to grieve despite the circumstances of her loss. Because without the chance and the ability to grieve their is no chance to heal and find ways to show that life did matter.

    • Heidi Faith says:

      K, thank you for your boldness and gentleness on this subject. I agree very much with what you have shared. Thank you.

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