I knew she was pregnant before she told me, and frankly, I was a little suspicious before she knew it--but I didn't say anything because I thought it would be rude. When she giddily told me I was going to be a khaleh (auntie), I started quietly compiling a list of names waiting to casually make a few suggestions. I was excited that one from our circle of friends would be adding a new little member to the group.
So you can imagine how sad I was for my friend last night when she emailed me to say that her husband is still radioactive (he had to have his thyroid removed) and that she had had a miscarriage. Her email was fairly light in tone, but I called her immediately. What she told me made me sad, angry and grateful for Planned Parenthood.
She thought something was wrong and went to her doctor, telling him she didn't feel pregnant any more. He first dismissed her concerns and finally checked the fetus' heartbeat at my friend's insistence. She miscarried close to her 14th week of pregnancy. He then informed her that because it was past her first trimester, her body would not spontaneously reject the dead fetus and it would have to be removed. He would not do the procedure because it was too similar to performing an abortion. And he was not going to refer her to anyone to conduct the procedure either.
This is where I lost track of what she was saying for a little while because I was stuck on the fact that a trained physician, a SCIENTIST, was not willing to remove dead tissue that would cause sepsis from my friend's uterus because the procedure was similar to an abortion. This is what he says to a woman who has just miscarried. A woman who could suffer infection, sepsis, hemorrhaging and possibly infertility because his religious beliefs did not allow him to differentiate between dead tissue and a live fetus. I'm not even going to touch the pro-choice vs. pro-life issue. My brain still hurts from the madness of what she was told.
Back to my friend: She tried to find another physician to conduct the procedure soon (before sepsis set in) and couldn't find anyone in her immediate network who could see her before March. It's January. Crazy, right? So out of desperation and in an understandable state of panic she calls Planned Parenthood, semi-hysterical and trying to explain what has happened. They were kind and worked quickly to get her in as soon as possible. She went with her dad to the PP clinic (her husband is going through radiation therapy and can't touch her or be within 7 feet of her), had the procedure and came home. She was so impressed and grateful, that she told her husband that every year on the day of her miscarriage she will donate money to Planned Parenthood.
In light of this situation, I would like to ask you to have an honest discussion with your physician and make sure you (or the women in your life) will be cared for if they need it. If your current physician is unwilling to care for you, please find one who will place your health before their personal beliefs. And please support your local Planned Parenthood. If not for them, there would be women who need medical help who wouldn't get it.