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Abortion and Miscarriage: Too Heavy for a Tweet

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In conversation with a real person, rather than speaking to oneself in the virtual mirror, one might hear about the loss and grief many women and couples experience following miscarriage. When a happily pregnant woman loses her pregnancy, she says she has lost her baby. Casting that painful episode as of no greater consequence than missing a lunch date should repel any beating heart.

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One might wish that Trunk were an anomaly, but one would be disappointed. To those for whom abortion is a correction, miscarriage is just a messier month. When Sanchez asked, "Do you have no shame?" Trunk replied: "Why are you asking?"

Well, as George Will would say.

Women certainly needn't feel shame for a miscarriage. Abortion, which is in an entirely different category, deserves a different conversation. It's worth noting for the sake of irony, however, that the principal argument for the legalization of abortion was privacy.

Whither that?

Regardless of one's moral position, it can't be convincingly argued that abortion and miscarriage are mere medical conditions like any other, as Trunk asserts. They both can involve medical procedures, but there's a life force at work that no woman who aims to give birth will deny.

Grappling with that force, its absence or overbearance, has prompted men and women through soul-searching centuries to find just the right words to exalt or rue the incomprehensible. That's why tweeting a miscarriage is so offensive. It's too little for too much.

A longer, more-reflective article examining the moral and legal pitfalls of a woman navigating miscarriage while at work might have been a valuable contribution to a necessary discussion. A teachable moment, if we must.

Instead, Trunk reduced the entire argument to an ineffable instant of adolescent prurience, trivializing not only the miscarriage but what little remains of our humanity. On a higher note, as Trunk noted on her blog, she did have a good hair day on CNN.

And you say there's no God.

kathleenparker@washpost.com


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