December 16, 2023

Is Miscarriage a Crime?

We know that many pregnancies end naturally in spontaneous abortion, aka miscarriage, before the pregnancy is known or even suspected. A typical scenario: Your period is a week or two late (if you are normally irregular, you probably won't notice). Then when it finally comes, it may seem a little heavier than usual. The blood that is discharged will be disposed of on a tampon or pad. Even if you suspect this was a miscarriage (most women don't), you will likely not consider having a funeral for your tampon.

In another common scenario, you realize you are pregnant, and may have already received prenatal care. Then one day, you experience cramps, bleeding, and an urge to push (similar in feeling to a difficult bowel movement). Most women go into the bathroom at this point, where they are likely to bleed onto the floor, in the bathtub, or into the toilet. A few will save the bloody mess to be analyzed by a medical lab, but most will just clean it up, washing everything down the drain or flushing it down the toilet. In some cases, it may be necessary to have a "D&C" procedure to remove tissue that was not expelled. The flushed or removed material is not perceived as a "body" or a "corpse".

Many Republicans now want to arrest women for doing the normal thing during and after a miscarriage. Simply seeking medical help during a miscarriage is often viewed with suspicion, or treated as a potential crime. Medical providers report being afraid to treat women undergoing miscarriage, because state laws will lead to accusations of performing an illegal abortion. @realrkwest

This woman is being prosecuted because she flushed blood and tissue:

In Alabama, women risk bleeding to death because doctors will not help them when they miscarry:

This woman spent 19 days having a miscarriage because doctors refused to help her:

A woman with a cancerous condition was told to go sit in the parking lot and wait for a heart attack:


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