Pop Culture

Another actress erroneously claims her miscarriage was an abortion. They are not the same.

Actress Torrey DeVitto, best known for her starring role in NBC’s “Chicago Med,” recently penned an op-ed for USA Today in which she discusses what she claims were her “two very different abortions.” She shared her stories because she wants abortion to be “available and stigma-free for everyone, no matter why or how.” (emphasis added) However, one of those “abortions” appears to have been a natural miscarriage, in which her baby died naturally and she needed medication to help her body to expel her child’s remains.

It’s important that women know the difference; miscarriage is not an intentional act of killing… abortion is.

Abortion vs. miscarriage

DeVitto says when she learned she was pregnant at age 21, she “was terrified” and “decided to have an abortion with the support of my then-partner.” She chose to end the child’s life through abortion to protect her own “future.” She had “just booked her first big acting job,” she told People in 2022.

But a few years later, when she was “ready for a child” and became pregnant, she had a miscarriage. “In order to aid the process, I needed to take an abortion pill to self-manage the miscarriage — once again, making the right choice for myself and my body.”  She said she “feared the abortion stigma from family, friends and — being in the entertainment industry — the public.” But, this was not an abortion, and treatment for miscarriage is not prohibited by any pro-life law.



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DeVitto’s first pregnancy ended in an induced abortion — a procedure that carries the intention and goal of ending the developing child’s life. An induced abortion is only deemed successful if the child ends up dead. This act of purposefully killing the preborn child is what pro-life laws exist to prevent.

DeVitto’s second pregnancy ended very differently — in a natural miscarriage. She didn’t cause her baby to die; her baby died naturally. Often, if a baby has died early in pregnancy, but the woman’s body has not recognized this, the woman is given misoprostol to cause contractions to help the miscarriage be completed. This is not an induced abortion and is not prohibited by any laws because the baby isn’t being intentionally killed.

Misoprostol is also the second pill of the two-drug abortion pill regimen, but it is not the abortion pill.

Mifepristone is the drug that was approved in the U.S. as the abortion pill. It is not currently approved as a miscarriage treatment. When it’s taken by a pregnant woman, it blocks the naturally occurring pregnancy hormone progesterone, depriving the living, developing child of nutrients — essentially starving the baby. Then, a woman takes misoprostol to cause contractions that expel the baby’s body.

“Forced to go through childbirth”

DeVitto wants abortion legalized through all nine months of pregnancy “no matter how or why” — meaning it doesn’t matter how the abortion takes place or why, even up to 40 weeks. She claims that any law protecting preborn children at any point in pregnancy is forcing women “to go through childbirth, face legal consequences for seeking or aiding abortion care, or face near death from pregnancy complications.” These claims are untrue.

Woman who go through later abortions in particular actually go through childbirth — of a stillborn baby. And even women who take the abortion pill in the first weeks of pregnancy experience pains reminiscent of labor, with many women describing that experience as the most painful thing they’ve ever been through. Late in pregnancy, the woman’s cervix must be dilated and her baby is either pulled out of her uterus in pieces in a D&E abortion or she has to go through an induction of labor abortion.

Abortion isn’t magic. The baby doesn’t just disappear — she is violently killed and the mother births her in some form or fashion.

In addition, women aren’t dying from pregnancy complications because of pro-life laws. Any woman who needs her pregnancy to end because of complications can have her pregnancy ended without using lethal force against another human being. Pro-life laws allow abortion in cases of medical emergencies to protect the mother’s health, but in reality, those exceptions aren’t necessary. The child does not need to be intentionally killed prior to delivery in order to save the mother. Preterm labor due to the premature rupture of membranes or an emergency C-section due to a dangerous medical condition are not induced abortions and are not prohibited by any pro-life law. To say otherwise is misinformation.

If a woman is denied the standard treatment for her situation, her doctor may be guilty of negligence.


DeVitto says, “I think about what my life would be like today if I didn’t have access to the reproductive health care I received years ago, and I am terrified for those who have to experience this as their reality.”

However, she has no idea what her life would look like today if she had not had an abortion at 21. Her life would look different, but would not necessarily be worse. Yet, she assumes it would be worse based on misogynistic notions that women are less capable than men — that women can’t be mothers and have a career. Having a baby didn’t have to end her aspirational acting dreams.

Monica Potter, Shirley Temple, Naomi Judd, Solange Knowles, Niki Taylor, Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, and Loretta Lynn were all teenage mothers who became successful in their careers. Women have even won Olympic medals while pregnant, and countless women attribute their success to their children, who inspired them to work harder.

For DeVitto to say she is “terrified” that young women won’t have access to abortion so they can grow their careers indicates that she doesn’t believe women are capable. She believes mothers are incapable.

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