"She can have another one."

Many years ago, I had dinner plans with a married girlfriend and her two-year-old daughter. When they exited their house, I could tell immediately that my friend was pregnant again. Having spent time with her throughout her first pregnancy, I knew the glaring signs that were unique to her.  However, during our car ride and the first 30 minutes at the restaurant, she didn’t mention it. I decided not to bring it up unless she did.  

 

Finally, eyes sparkling, she leaned across the table and said, “I have some news”. The size of my smile told her I already knew.  “Yes, I know,” I said “but I wasn’t going to say anything unless you did.” She told me it was still early, about 6 weeks and didn’t want to tell a lot of people yet.  “You know how cold people can be about miscarriages” she remarked.   “Yes, I replied, “I know”. We celebrated, I played with her daughter and we made plans to go to the park the following month. 

 

Weeks later, I was at a small, gathering when an email came across my cell phone. My friend was cancelling our park outing that Saturday because she had suffered a miscarriage that morning and needed time to rest and grieve.  She remarked that she wouldn’t be up for social outings for a while. My audible reaction to the email did not go un-noticed. A woman was standing nearby and asked what was wrong. I told her, and she responded, “She’s young. She can have another one.”

 

How many times had I responded that way in the past? How many times had I directed that comment to others?  To my friends?  To my own sisters?  Would you walk up to a mother of four children, grab one and tell her, “Don’t worry. You can have another one?” 

 

No, you wouldn’t. 

 

Yet for a person that staunchly believes life begins at conception, why is it that that belief is vehemently defended during abortion debates and then breezily forgotten when a woman miscarries?

 

“You know how cold people can be about miscarriages”.