Miscarriage of Burden: Day 6

#Day6 of the Miscarriage of Burden: 12 Days of Education and Fundraising Against the Fetal Remains Rule. Today’s theme: undue psychological burden
***In keeping with our mission to support ally and partner organizations with shared values, Pantsuit Republic is hosting a fundraising drive for Planned Parenthood at this link ( https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Donation2…). This takes you to a ‘dead link’ for PP, that says ‘Gulf Coast region’ but was the most expedient way to track all Pantsuit Republic donations. Per the PP website and of particular relevance in our state – ‘Latinos face greater obstacles to obtaining, and benefiting from, sexual and reproductive health services compared to their non-Latino peers. As a result, Latinos experience higher rates of reproductive cancers, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections than most other demographic groups in the U.S.’***
Before we talk about how Abbott’s bill may affect women, here is a sad statistic for you. An estimated 1 million women experience miscarriage or still birth annually in the United States. The majority of which are caused by genetic/chromosomal abnormalities, umbilical/placental abnormalities or maternal health, among other reasons.
Moving on to sadder statistics, women with this type of loss are at a risk for anxiety and depression. “Because it is medically common, the impact of miscarriage is often underestimated,” says Janet Jaffe, PhD, a clinical psychologist. “But miscarriage is a traumatic loss, not only of the pregnancy, but of a woman’s sense of self and her hopes and dreams of the future. She has lost her ‘reproductive story,’ and it needs to be grieved.” (Jaffe 2011)
If I haven’t depressed you sufficiently so far with this post, please continue to read that those that have suffered a miscarriage or still birth and have anxiety and depression, can be affected by these symptoms for up to three years (Blackmore 2011).
So lots of facts and all, but what does it all mean. Let’s summarize: 1)there is often a health complication (through no fault of the woman) causing a woman to lose a child in the womb. A woman who has probably been dreaming about this moment and time in her life and the future life of her child. Then just like that, all that hope is dashed. 2)This takes a heavy toll on a woman’s body and mental health. Anxiety and depression can occur, possibly for 3 years because of this trauma.
Enter Abbott’s Fetal Remains bill. It won’t take a psychological professional to ascertain that it may impact that woman negatively, influence and exacerbate mental health symptoms and bring those dashed hopes to join with memories she didn’t voluntarily sign up for.
Would some women want to bury or cremate fetal remains, maybe. Should we let them? Sure.
Do we need to force every woman who has miscarried to relive possibly the worst moment of her life by making them participate in a ritual that may haunt them for years to come? Hell No.
Citations: https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4317229.aspx
Reproductive Trauma: Psychotherapy With Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Clients
By Janet Jaffe, PhD, and Martha O. Diamond, PhD
American Psychological Association, 2011
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21372060
Br J Psychiatry. 2011 May;198(5):373-8. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.083105. Epub 2011 Mar 3.
Previous prenatal loss as a predictor of perinatal depression and anxiety.
Blackmore ER1, Côté-Arsenault D, Tang W, Glover V, Evans J, Golding J, O’Connor TG.