Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade On June 24, ending a constitutional right to abortion in the United States, people publicly shared stories of how their lives were saved and shaped by a medical procedure that has around one in four that women will need during their childbearing years.
Adding their voices to the chorus are some of the many people who needed a D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure to treat a miscarriage. The procedure involves dilating the cervix and removing the contents of the uterus. The stages are the same whether the pregnancy is viable or not. When a person has a miscarriage but their body does not empty the uterus on its own, doctors may perform a D&C to prevent infection or other complications.
In a mighty writing for vogueHalsey wrote about their three miscarriages and the need for this procedure to save their lives.
“I had three miscarriages before my 24th birthday,” they wrote. “One of my miscarriages required ‘follow-up’, a sweet way of saying I would need an abortion because my body couldn’t completely terminate the pregnancy on its own and I would risk having a sepsis without medical intervention.”
“I was scared for myself and helpless,” Halsey says. “I was desperate to terminate the pregnancy that threatened my life.”
As Halsey gave birth to their child, Ender, in July 2021, they say they were filled with fear as they waited for the baby to arrive. “I rewrote my will during the third trimester of my pregnancy. After my past experiences, I had prepared myself for the worst. I have given detailed instructions regarding the donation of my organs if I die or are declared brain dead.
They note the irony that even though you need a deceased person’s permission to donate their organs, a fetal heartbeat could prevent doctors from performing a life-saving abortion on a pregnant person. .
Their miscarriage experiences, Halsey says, made them even more committed to abortion rights.
“My abortion saved my life and allowed my son to have his. Each person deserves the right to choose when, if and how to go through this dangerous and upsetting experience. I will hold my son in one arm and fight with all my might with the other.
Although no cases have yet been revealed in the United States, there are concerns that laws such as Texas’ “heartbeat bill” could prevent medical providers from treating an impending miscarriage. or in progress with a D&C if the fetus’ heart is still beating, thus endangering the life of the pregnant person. Such a situation led to the death in 2012 of Dr. Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. The 31-year-old dentist was 17 weeks pregnant when she died of an infection while doctors waited for the fetus’s heartbeat to stop so she could legally perform the procedure. Her story galvanized campaigners and led to the historic legalization of abortion in Ireland in 2018.