VP Kamala Harris perpetuates idea that women can’t get miscarriage care without abortion


Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis recently, during which time she discussed her hope that Americans will work to ensure abortion becomes fully legal throughout pregnancy in every state.

To validate her unwavering support for abortion on demand, Harris shared the story of a woman who claims she was denied medical care for a miscarriage due to pro-life laws that have been enacted.

“She went to the emergency room while she was having a miscarriage, denied care,” said Harris. “She went back, denied care. Only when she contracted sepsis did they give her care. So this is what’s happening in real time in our country.”

Harris added, “I think on this issue, it is critically important that we understand this is not some intellectual debate. Every day in America, there are people suffering, silently suffering in many cases.”

The case in question

Harris was likely alluding to the story of Amanda Zurawski, who, according to People Magazine, “was dilating prematurely due to an incompetent cervix” and was told that “miscarriage was inevitable.” Doctors in her state of Texas erroneously claimed there was nothing they could do for her and her baby, and they waited until she was suffering from sepsis before performing a “premature delivery” of her child — a completely legal medical procedure, not an induced abortion. No pro-life law prohibits an induced preterm delivery that is carried out for medical situations like Zurawski’s and which do not intentionally cause the death of the child. The doctors’ failure to treat Zurawski may amount to medical neglect, if no medications or monitoring of any kind were provided to her.

Again, no pro-life laws prohibit proper medical treatment for miscarriage management. Still, pro-abortion narratives are confusing women on what constitutes an induced abortion by conflating miscarriage treatment and induced abortion.

Miscarriage treatment is not an abortion

One woman recently shared her miscarriage story, saying that she underwent a D&C (dilation and curettage) abortion as a treatment. She said, “There was no heartbeat to be heard” and claimed that the “abortion saved my life.” But there’s a problem here — removing an already deceased child from her uterus is not an induced abortion. Though the procedure — a D&C — is the same, when done for a miscarriage, it is not a procedure done to end a child’s life, but to remove the remains of a child that has already died.

In an induced abortion, a D&C is used to cause the preborn child’s death. In a miscarriage, a D&C is used to remove the already deceased child in order to prevent an infection in the mother. Pro-life laws are clear that procedures used to remove the body of a deceased baby are legal.

“This woman’s life was saved by miscarriage management, not abortion,” explained Secular Pro-Life in a Facebook post (pictured above), adding:

Procedures and medications to remove already dead embryos or fetuses are not legally abortions. They aren’t illegal, and no one wants to make them illegal. (See, for example, the language of Texas abortion law, which states ‘An act is not an abortion if the act is done with the intent to … remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by spontaneous abortion’.) Procedures and medications to remove the remains of a dead human are transparently ethically different from procedures and medications that kill a living human.

Additionally, a woman in Texas who suffered a missed miscarriage said in a TikTok video that she had to “carry my dead baby not only for the two weeks I’ve already been carrying it, but until my body figures out that it’s dead.” She claimed that her medical team would not help her remove her deceased child’s body because of Texas’ pro-life laws.

Secular Pro-Life’s executive director Monica Snyder responded to this video, stating, “I had a missed miscarriage a couple years ago and I had a D&C to remove the remains of my child and I am a pro-life activist. I say all this to emphasize that pro-lifers are not against miscarriage management. We’re not against D&Cs as a procedure in all possible circumstances. We are very specifically against elective abortion and that’s why pro-life laws are written to be very specific, including the Texas law.”

A D&C for miscarriage management (to remove an already deceased child’s remains) is not legally an abortion. It is not an exception to the pro-life law, explained Snyder — it is not even defined as an abortion at all in the law, meaning, it can be carried out at any point following the diagnosis of missed miscarriage regardless of whether or not the mother has an active infection.

“I noticed when I was reading the many, many comments under this woman’s video that there were a lot of comments from people saying that they too had to wait to get procedures or medications for a missed miscarriage in states and in time periods before Dobbs [the Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade], before the Texas Heartbeat Law. It was still a thing that was happening anyway,” said Snyder. “This suggests that there are reasons other than abortion bans why a doctor or a midwife or whoever might tell a woman they don’t want to do procedures or medications yet. They want to wait and see.” (emphases added)

This, she explained, is because doctors want to be certain that a missed miscarriage has occurred before carrying out the procedure or prescribing drugs that may harm the baby if the diagnosis of missed miscarriage is wrong. Otherwise, they could be accidentally causing the death of the baby — a baby whom the parents did not want to abort.

There are specific criteria for doctors to determine both a missed miscarriage or suspicion of a missed miscarriage. If a woman is suspected of having a missed miscarriage but it is not diagnosed, the doctors may want to wait to act.

“In the same comments under that video, there were people talking about how they live in Texas and they were able to get treatment for a missed miscarriage without any problem. … It’s possible that in their cases, the diagnostic criteria for a non-viable first-trimester pregnancy were clearer and so the medical professionals were prepared to move forward without worrying about a false positive diagnosis,” said Snyder.

Vice President Harris should be aware of the laws surrounding abortion before speaking to them and spreading false information about them. Regarding her statement that she has “faith in the people of America” to fight for abortion on demand, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll revealed that most Americans continue to support restrictions on abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and a 2023 Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll found that though 61% of those surveyed consider themselves to be pro-choice, 69% want abortion to be significantly restricted.

According to that poll, 79% of Americans do not want abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, as was allowed under Roe v. Wade and as abortion advocates and pro-abortion politicians including Harris are seeking. In addition, the poll indicates that 69% of Americans want abortion restricted even earlier than six months, the so-called assumed point of “viability.”

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