Courtney, I want to thank you for your courage in writing this piece and sharing the images. As a birth&bereavement doula I work to support women who are experiencing pregnancy loss for any reason, including abortion, because like you I believe completely in a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body and in her body.
That said, I wish you had respected a woman’s right to decide that an early miscarriage is more than “just a blob of tissue.” I understand that anti-choice activists have co-opted pregnancy bereavement language and are using it to promote barbaric restrictions on women and pregnancy. But that does not mean that for some women what to you is “just a blob of tissue” is to them the beginning of a baby.
A woman can be pro-choice and mourn the death of her baby at 6 weeks. A woman can be pro-choice and mourn deciding to have an abortion at 16 weeks. A woman can be pro-choice and mourn her infertility. A woman can have miscarried all her children before 8 weeks and still call herself a mother. A woman can be pro-choice and want a birth certificate for her 38 week old stillborn baby. All these things are true and none of these things are anti-choice.
A law that honors all women is a law that honors a woman’s right to choose. And just as it is wrong to co-opt the language of bereavement into the anti-choice movement, it is wrong to demand women deny their experience of miscarriage as baby loss in order to support the pro-choice movement.