Congresswoman Lucy McBath on Wednesday shared her struggles with miscarriages to campaign for women’s reproductive rights in the United States after the conservative-majority Supreme Court released a leaked draft opinion overturning the Roe v Wade decision.
Speaking at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the “ongoing crisis in access to abortion care,” the Georgia Democrat argued that laws introduced in right-wing states could affect the treatment of women who have suffered miscarriages and stillbirths.
“One day I woke up covered in blood. It’s hard to describe the agony of a miscarriage. It’s heartbreak, it’s helplessness, it’s pain, it’s deep sadness.
Millions of women suffer from it,” she described her first miscarriage.
She added that during her second pregnancy, she suffered another miscarriage at four months. “I learned that I had suffered fetal death or stillbirth. For two weeks I carried my dead fetus waiting for labor to start…for two weeks I carried a lost pregnancy and the anguish that came with it. ” She said.
“I’ve never gone into labor alone. When my doctor finally initiated me, I faced the pain of labor with no hope of having a live baby,” added Ms McBath.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, miscarriage is defined as pregnancy loss before 20 weeks and stillbirth is loss of the fetus at or after 20 weeks.
“This is my story. It’s uniquely mine — but it’s not unique,” she said, pointing out that millions of women in America have suffered miscarriages.
According to a report by the National Library of Medicine, it is estimated that up to 26 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and up to 10 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies.
“That’s why I’m asking on behalf of these women: after what failed pregnancy should I have been jailed,” the congresswoman demanded.
“Would it have been after the first miscarriage, after the doctors used an illegal drug to abort the lost fetus?” she asked. “Would you have put me in jail after the second miscarriage?”
“I ask because the same drugs used to treat my failed pregnancies are the same drugs that states like Texas would make illegal,” she said.
In Texas, a law passed in 2021 lists drugs as pro-abortion drugs and restricts their use for abortions after the seventh week of pregnancy, The New Hampshire Public Radio reported.
“I’m asking if Alabama performs abortions [an act of] Murder, miscarriage, manslaughter? I’m asking if a woman who miscarries at three months is asked to carry her dead fetus,” continued Ms. McBath.
In 2019, Republicans passed legislation called the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which bans nearly all abortions in the state and makes it a Class A felony for a doctor to perform them. However, the law was blocked by a federal judge and ruled unconstitutional.
“Women’s rights are human rights, reproductive health care is health care, and medical decisions should be made by women and those they trust, not politicians and officials,” the congresswoman added.
When the congresswoman finally had a child, her son Jordan Davis was shot dead in 2012 at the age of 17 after a loud music complaint.
Congresswoman Marie Newman spoke out last week to say she had to have an abortion because women “still face shame wherever you go, even in this day and age.”
“When I was 19, I was in the middle of college. I found out I was pregnant. I had two jobs – scrubbing tables and floors to get through college. I didn’t have the wherewithal, but more importantly, I didn’t have the emotional capacity to support a child… It was a good decision, but it was still a difficult decision,” she said.
“So when Republican senators tell us we shouldn’t have agency over our bodies, it just reinforces that taboo and shame and I’ve had enough. All done. I will not let people shame me or anyone else who has had a standard medical procedure called an abortion,” she added.
A formal decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, at the center of the Supreme Court’s abortion ban debate, is expected in the coming weeks. Nearly 25 states in the US are expected to ban abortion outright, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans set to go into effect without overarching federal protections for access to abortion.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/lucy-mcbath-miscarriages-aborting-ruling-gop-b2082470.html ‘After what failed pregnancy should I have been jailed’: MP who had miscarriages criticizes GOP for abortion ban