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Losing a Baby

The New York Times has an article today about model Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend, who revealed the heartbreaking news yesterday evening that they had lost their unborn son after pregnancy complications. “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real,” Teigen tweeted.

Times writer Mike Ives went on to say:

Ms. Teigen, 34, joined a long list of celebrities who have broken a social taboo in recent years to speak out about pregnancy loss. Others include the former first lady Michelle Obama, the singers Beyoncé and Celine Dion, the actresses Brooke Shields and Kirstie Alley and the actors Hugh Jackman and James Van Der Beek.

Such disclosures have resonated with women across the United States, where pregnancy discrimination is widespread, and organizations that provide family-planning or abortion services are often targeted by conservative officials, and miscarriages are still largely spoken of in hushed tones. [Emphasis added.]

Ives seems to be referring here to Planned Parenthood, an odd framing given that his article is about lamenting the loss of human life involved in every miscarriage. Anyone not blinded by the orthodoxy of the abortion-rights movement knows that, far from silencing conversations about miscarriage, pro-life conservatives are among the strongest proponents of the idea that all human beings, including the unborn, have intrinsic dignity and worth.

To the extent that women who suffer miscarriages feel unable to talk about that experience, surely some of that discomfort is the fault of abortion advocates, who insist that unborn children are mere clumps of cells, part of the mother, or a parasite growing inside her. There is an obvious tension between this rhetoric and the human need to grieve the loss of human life involved in each miscarriage.

These types of public conversations about miscarriage highlight the incoherence of those who defend abortion. Consider, for instance, that Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 300,000 abortions each year, weighed in on the news that Teigen and Legend had lost their son, offering condolences on Twitter. It is the ultimate cognitive dissonance to lament the loss of one unborn child while also insisting that some unborn human beings are not human at all if they are unwanted by their parents, that their lives can be disregarded and discarded for any reason whatsoever. This unscientific, dehumanizing argument conflicts on the deepest level with the belief that something — someone — has been lost every time a woman suffers a miscarriage.

The pro-life worldview that decries abortion as a violation of every human being’s right to life is also most understanding of the deep suffering inflicted on a woman every time she experiences a miscarriage, on parents who lose an unborn child.

Teigen and Legend are right to mourn their son, and they deserve our compassion, as does every couple that loses a child. In drawing attention to their loss, Times should’ve left abortion politics out of it.

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