That’s what this reader perceived among her fellow patients:
I have something called secondary infertility. I was able to have some normal pregnancies resulting in live, healthy births. But we wanted our family to grow and that’s when my problems began. Everything would be fine until weeks 11 - 15. Then the baby would stop thriving and die in utero. The medical term for this is “missed abortion.” Usually after a few days, a woman has a miscarriage but sometimes labor needs to be induced. Regardless, a D&C is in order. So on top of a “missed abortion,” a woman must go through what is essentially an abortion procedure (albeit with a fetus that’s already dead). I lost several babies this way.
I remember being in an outpatient surgical center affiliated with a local hospital. I was in a waiting room filled with women who were aborting their babies by choice. Many of these women were Russian emigres who used abortion as a form of birth control. That was perhaps the most painful thing for me: desperately wanting a child, not wanting to go through this procedure, and sitting in a room full of women whose babies I would have eagerly welcomed for adoption but who were destined to be killed that day.
These women showed no emotion. They discussed their nails, their hair, and other trite subjects as though it was just another day. I was trying so hard to have a baby, and they were so dismissive of their own, like their babies were something frivolous. It just about killed me.
This next reader also had a miscarriage and consequently struggles with her pro-choice stance:
While I was losing my babies around the six-week mark, many women across the U.S. were heading into clinics to voluntarily terminate their pregnancies. I find it striking how the exact same process—the loss of a growing embryo or fetus—can evoke such different reactions and understandings.