Thursday, October 01, 2009

Miscarriage Tweets in Big Media

So Penelope Trunk, the blogger mentioned in this post, was interviewed on CNN about twittering about her miscarriage and planned abortion. I thought she highlighted some very good points:

- Women do not necessarily want every pregnancy to result in a birth. Sometimes women with kids, e.g. Trunk, don't want more kids! Trunk emphasized this by bringing up her previous miscarriage, which she did mourn: it was a wanted pregnancy, and she was sad that it didn't lead to a wanted child. (She later did have the desired second child.) But this recent pregnancy was not wanted, and would not have been brought to term regardless.

- Miscarriages are incredibly common and take place over an extended period, so women must go to work while they are miscarrying, unless they can just drop everything and take a couple of weeks off. (Shockingly, the interviewer was completely ignorant of how miscarriages happen---he seemed to think that they all are instantaneous, like a Hollywood version of a water breaking. Real-world evidence of the ignorance bred by keeping this topic outside public discourse!)

- You probably work/have worked/will work with women having miscarriages.

- In the case of a miscarriage or an abortion, you may need to take some time off for medical visits; Trunk said that she informed her board of the situation because she would have had to leave the state for two days to get the abortion she desired.

- The need for women to miss work for this reason is increased where laws make it difficult for them to procure abortions from a medical provider in their area without weeks of delay.

- If you are going to miss work, it might be best (depends on the workplace, I suppose) to provide your reasons for doing so.

Social media is, for better or worse, the preferred method for some people to share their experiences. As Trunk noted, this is part of the female experience. Perhaps some people might even prefer announcing a miscarriage on Facebook or Twitter to avoid the specter of repeated discussions with individual friends about an awkward topic.

I wasn't aware before that Trunk is also open about being a woman with Asperger's. As someone who scores highly on tests for that sort of thing, I enjoyed watching her interview.
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