Avoiding Pitting Mothers Against Babies

Both pro-life and pro-choice people all support saving the life of a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy. I wrote about my own experience losing my child, Camillian, in an ectopic pregnancy for the New York Times. My goal was to explain not just what a pro-life perspective permits but what it makes possible to support the dignity of mother and child.

The first person to see us was another ultrasound technician. Her voice got sharp when I asked if our baby had a heartbeat. “It’s not a baby, don’t talk like that,” she told me, as I lay on the table. Her voice softened a little, “You don’t have to think of it that way.” For her, part of providing care was denying there was any room for grief.

But when the surgeon came in, he began by expressing his condolences. He talked about our options, he talked about our baby as a baby. He answered our questions about recovery times from surgery as naturally as he did our questions about how to specify that we wanted our child’s body for burial. He took our request seriously and told us that we should know that as far as he could tell, our baby had already died and it was the placenta that was still growing and putting me in danger. But if he could, he would make sure that our baby wasn’t treated as just a tissue sample but as a child lost.

Read the whole thing

I also wrote a little on Other Feminisms in response to the comments I received.