A woman has her blood pressure checked by a registered nurse practitioner during a checkup at Planned Parenthood.

A woman has her blood pressure checked by a registered nurse practitioner during a checkup at Planned Parenthood.

Millions of American women miscarry a pregnancy every year.

But this type of loss is often misunderstood — and that’s having a big impact amid a wave of anti-abortion legislation around the country.

With Georgia’s new “heartbeat” law, for example, a woman who miscarries “could be pulled into an investigation looking at whether someone performed an illegal abortion on her,” The Washington Post reports.

What does it mean to miscarry? And for something so common, why don’t we talk about it more?

From Washington Post gender columnist Monica Hesse:

I never viewed my work so personally, not until the day after the bleeding began, when the nurse handed me a paper gown and motioned toward the exam table. All at once, what was happening felt specifically ladyish: the cramps, the stirrups, the matter-of-fact kindness of the office staff, the implied secrecy of the ordeal. It happens to more women than you’d expect, the nurse told my husband and me. It’s one of those things nobody likes to talk about.

I nodded, and mentally planned how to not talk about it. How to excuse my work absence by claiming the flu — we hadn’t told many people about the pregnancy. How to spare everyone else the messiness.

[…] Did this happen because I took a couple of Excedrin for a migraine the day before? Because I shoveled snow that morning, or cleaned the tub with Clorox instead of organic baking soda?

We demystify the miscarriage.

Show produced by Paige Osburn. Text by Kathryn Fink.


  • Dr. Jamila Perritt Fellow, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Reproductive Health and Family Planning Specialist;@repoprightsdoc
  • Joyce McFadden Therapist/psychoanalyst, specializing in depression, anxiety, and fertility/reproductive matters;@Joyce_McFadden
  • Dr. Zev Williams Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Columbia University Fertility Center

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