Abortion Happens: That's Life

Q: What is the difference between an abortion and a miscarriage?

A: Nothing -- they are the same thing! Well, to be fair, the medical verbiage for miscarriage is 'spontaneous abortion,' yet that only goes to the weight of my argumentative question even more, circumstantially proving that a miscarriage technically is an abortion sans planned medical procedure. 

Considering how many people cannot even say the word 'penis' when penis is the anatomically-correct medical term for that part of the body, it is no wonder that people are clueless to the medical term for 'miscarriage.' But I digress.

Now, when it comes to life inside a woman ending, what I am trying to figure out is this: Does it matter if the life that ended was due to (1) the woman choosing to get an abortion, or (2) nature choosing to give her an abortion by way of a miscarriage, or (3) a random accident such as a car wreck or a fall?

I mean, what matters most: how the life has ended, or that the life has ended? Note the difference in the questions.

I speculate for the people who have never been in the position of experiencing an abortion, spontaneous or otherwise, that it matters most to them how the life ends; possibly because those people misguidedly believe they have control over what others do and they cannot stop clinging to that belief, and therefore they must know how the life ends so that they can stop it from happening again in the future against their beliefs; or possibly some other reason unbeknownst to me. 

However, speaking only for myself, and as a female who experienced a painful and private at-home spontaneous abortion against my will on Thanksgiving Day of 2015, ten weeks into my first (and most likely last) pregnancy, I find the latter to be more significant than the former; in other words, life ending matters more than how life ends.

To put the importance on how the life ends is to say life ending is okay(!), just so long as it doesn't end in a certain way, particularly in an abortion at a human's choosing. So wouldn't that mean, then, that the life that ended via spontaneous abortion or random accident is not as important as the life that ended due to a woman choosing an abortion?

I mean, how is that not what that means when the how of the loss is more important than the loss itself???

And to think, there are people who care more about how the life ends than the life ending. I mean, the audacity of some people, you know?

Pardon my disgusted dissent from the herd of non-thinking automatons who postulate that the how is more important than the loss. I, for one, do not see it that way; maybe I will another day, but not today.

What I do see and hear is a lot of talk without thought, or experience, from people who do not necessarily understand the full depth and breadth of what they are talking about. 

For example, on the topic of punishment: If a woman who gets an abortion procedure should be punished under the law for her actions of ending life, then should I be punished, too, for having a spontaneous abortion even though I never had a say in it? 

Either way, life ended and someone must be punished for such an outrageous act of defiance from the herd; harrumph, harrumph, harrumph.

Goodness; should all women who unwillingly have miscarriages be punished?

Just because I did not elect, nor pay, for a medical procedure does not mean a procedure that brought about the same results did not happen on me by unseen forces; nor does it mean there are no feelings of self-condemnation. 

Some (not all) women who pay for abortions take no blame nor punish themselves with guilt over their choice; but at least those women know why they lost their pregnancies, because they chose to lose them. This is where miscarriage differs: choice

I was not given an option and chose the miscarriage; it chose me and I will never ever know why. A spontaneous abortion can leave a woman wondering what made things go wrong, and if it is somehow her fault due to diet, work, stress, environment, or some unknown factor that could persist into the next pregnancy and won't be discovered until another miscarriage. As if I didn't have enough mental demons vying for my attention already.

Not only that, but for those who think a woman should be arbitrarily punished for having an abortion: Isn't an abortion, in and of itself, punishment enough; to have life and growing matter ripped out from your insides, either by planned procedure or natural forces? Obviously not to a man who has never experienced the sensation. Am I right or am I right, ladies? (Gotta keep the levity here, otherwise the 'pro-lifers' win.)

And that leads to another thought: If people care more about how the life ends than the life ending, are they really pro-life or are they just anti-abortion? I would argue that pro-life and anti-abortion are not the same things.

For example: Are any pro-lifers volunteering as grief counselors for women who have lost pregnancies and need reassurance to keep trying to bring life into this fucked-up world...or are the pro-lifers just standing around in front of abortion clinics with signs and spreading their self-righteousness on social media?

In other words: What are pro-lifers doing to promote life and promote people creating life, rather than endlessly working to stop people from doing what they want with their bodies?

And what about that: All the signs and protesters who want everyone to know how evil and wrong abortion is? Not how evil and wrong it is to choose an abortion, but abortion in and of itself being evil and wrong.

I did not have an abortion, it spontaneously had me, but technically it was an abortion, and I am still the one who has to live with it and be reminded of its evilness (not my evilness) when I see the Planned Parenthood protesters in Sequim (which, amusingly, I never would have known there was a PP here if it weren't for the protesters!).

Considering abortion as a thing that happens, rather than a choice a person makes: If abortion is so evil and wrong, then why does nature get to do it spontaneously against a woman's will?

I mean, is abortion evil and wrong when nature does it, or is it only evil and wrong when humans choose it?

As an aside, I am fully aware that miscarriages can result from the body naturally stopping a pregnancy that it knows through its senses could end badly and aborts it before it has a chance to develop further, no matter if the woman is doing everything correct; that's the unending mystery of a miscarriage.

However: If people say that it is okay for nature to be evil and wrong with a spontaneous abortion, then why is it evil and wrong when a human chooses an abortion; because aren't humans nature, too?

I mean, what if abortions are an essential part of life?

Maybe I am looking too deep into the matter, but I have outgrown the shallow end, so into the deep I will go.

Taking one more step with a different approach, I can't help but wonder: Is it evil and wrong to not get pregnant?

I mean, if it is evil and wrong to choose to abort a baby and end life, then it has to be the most super evilest and wrongest thing of all to not even create life, especially to choose not to create life(!); because how can that be pro-life...right?


Or is it?

Does anybody know for sure what is right or wrong here? Because I don't.

So, where was I going with this line of questioning anyway? That life ending matters more than how life ends, and here is the concluding point that one must consider:

When it comes down to it at the end of the day, and you don't have the life of another that you want with you, do you really think the how will matter more than the gut-twisting reality that the life you want is not with you and never ever will be again? Think on that for more than 5 seconds.

Knowing the how never brings back the life. All the hows fade away, and matter less and less, when you are the one left without the life you want to have with you; whether the life is a baby-to-be, a parent, or any loved one. 

Not until you experience loss of life do you learn that the how of the loss, no matter its degree of relative awfulness, is a meaningless speck of nothingness compared to the vast emptiness left behind. I know the pain of crying over the how and it never hurts as much as the pain of crying over the loss. 

Had the miscarriage not happened, I would be days away from becoming a mother; but, whether for good or bad, gods work in mysterious ways and they have other plans in store for me. I guess that's life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


Enbrethiliel said...


It seems wrong to respond to such a heartfelt post with the disinterested comment that this is going to be, but you've always welcomed other unpopular opinions on your blog.

I have also sensed something not-quite-right in American pro-life culture--at least as it appears to me through the media. While I believe it began with a true belief that all human life is precious, it really does seem to have turned into something else.

A few years ago, when Occupy Wall Street was the big thing in the news, a friend shared with me Jody Bottom's analysis of the "spiritual anxiety" of the protestors. Her own gloss on the matter was that the protestors (and everyone caught up in the AIDS and global warming scares, which was the wider context of our discussion) were materialists who responded with fear because fear is the only logical response to crises in a world with no higher power. It has struck me since then that those protestors and fear-mongers are close cousins to the non-materialist pro-lifers who do believe in a higher power. The latter may not respond with fear, but they make up for it with an attempt at control. Their sincere belief that the deliberate procurement of abortion is an evil has become peripheral; what they are really consumed by is (quoting Bottom again here) "confirmation of their own essential goodness." And it swings dangerously close to the kind of confirmation people try to give themselves when they scapegoat celebrities--which is something else you've written about.

The modern pro-life movement is not really about defending life, but about racking up the most political points in a game that will never really end. This issue may just be the opiate of the religious masses. But of course, to call them out on it is to be "pro-abortion."

And now because I realise it may not actually "go without saying" . . . I am so very sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe this is a false equivalance.

Yes, HOW life ends matters.

Saying that spontaneous abortions are simmilar to planned abortions is like saying a man dying in a car accident is simmilar to a man being killed. I mean sure, in both cases the family and friends will be at loss and won't care for HOW he died, but the police will care. The death is the same, except the first one is a case of a naturally occuring catastrophe and the second is a crime, a death that could been avoided, and thus must be punished to discourage others. I think you can see the simmilarities with the spontaneous vs planned abortions argument.

Now, personally, I am slightly conflicted on the issue. I reject the "muh Jesus" argument, but I will recgognize that humans do percieve unborn babies to be "alive" even if they do not possess a concoiusness. This is proven by the fact that people who murder pregnant women get indicted for double murder, the fetus counting as the second person. The way our society views abortion is important in order to maintain the spiritual health of a nation. Having sex with corpses causes no pain to the corpse and is pleasant to the pervert, but it violates sacred principals we all hold true. Simmilarly to canibalism (post-death of course). They are not bad per se, but recognizing sex with corpses, canibalism, zoophilia, incest or abortion forces a very materialistic view on society, similar to that of baboons. It is the ritualic importance of burials and other "sacred practices" that propels human civilization. From that perspective I do believe we must treat abortions with a degree of spiritual respect, and I speak as an atheist. Therefore I condemn the hyper-feminist "lol flush it into toilet, it's just like a nail extension, LOL". Even unconscious fetuses should be treated with respect, due to moral hygiene. We must do it to preserve the moral fabric of our civilization.

That being said, I am pro-choice, but not for feministic reasons. I believe that women who choose to end pregnancies generally are probably not going to be good mothers (of course there are cases were it is otherwise). I also support abortion for eugenic purpose. Since abortions are done by mostly low-class, low self-control people more people born into poverty and bad parents is a bad thing.

I think for the good of civilization we should encourage smart couples to breed as much as possible and the people who are of bad character to do so as little as possible. If I could choose I would subsidize couples in high-IQ proffesions like doctors and engineers to have kids and would subsidize criminals and drug abusers to not have them and would lend them any means necessary, whever it is contraception or abortion.

Overall, I view abortion as a necessary evil. The pros outweight the cons in my opinion. I do support the possibility of it, but I don't think it should be dispensed as candy. People should think seriously before doing it. We must respect the ritualistic aspect of pregnancy, even in a secular society.

Eve Penman said...

Wonderful comment, thank you!

In regards to your statement: but I will recgognize that humans do percieve unborn babies to be "alive" even if they do not possess a concoiusness. This is proven by the fact that people who murder pregnant women get indicted for double murder, the fetus counting as the second person. The way our society views abortion is important in order to maintain the spiritual health of a nation. Having sex with corpses causes no pain to the corpse and is pleasant to the pervert, but it violates sacred principals we all hold true.

I want to point out where I see the difference between our arguments; it's not a right-or-wrong issue, it's just the difference of perspective which is a good thing to understand; and that is that I do not rely on the legal system to tell me what is right or not right, which is what getting charged with double murder is, it's a legal punishment used by courts. I agree that it's a real concept, but I don't agree that that one concept dictates what all humans think about life inside the womb, especially if not all courts around the world do the same.

And while that legal punishment may have been given approval to be used by a majority of people, it does not mean that all people see it that way. Likewise, to say that all humans perceive something is to say that one person knows what all humans think; and no single human can know what all humans think; it is an impossibility because one human is not all humans. I completely understand though that the legal system sees it one way; but that is not the only way to see it nor the way everyone sees it.

As well, to use words like 'our' or 'we' is to put the weight of the argument on what others think who aren't part of the argument; I don't care about what hypothetical society thinks, I care about what you think. Plus, depending on where a person lives in the world, even within the boundaries of america, 'our' society may not be the same society. Society is different in different places.

Just because you or another finds sex with corpses to go against everything 'we' hold true, doesn't mean that is true for every single human being walking the earth. And, since I haven't met every single human being, I must not only give them the benefit of the doubt that they may hold a different view than me, but I must reserve their right to speak for themselves because that is a right no one has -- to speak for another human being...unless a court grants it, of course; but even then I would wonder if the person who couldn't speak agreed with what the person speaking for them was saying. Courts aren't right on everything; I know from experience, I've worked in them.

That's not to say I think sex with corpses is a good thing, because for me, personally, it's not; the gross-out health risks alone would tell me that person is mentally not well to do such a thing and needs help, not necessarily punishment though.

I give a wide margin of doubt due to the fact I don't know all the ways there are to live and think; it's a side effect from taking part in court cases and realizing how much I don't know no matter how much evidence I hear for or against something. Yet while I give the benefit of the doubt to others, it doesn't mean I agree with their choices or that I don't do everything I can to protect myself from such people.

Thanks again for the comment!