Monday, January 19, 2009

For Every Three Babies Born In Australia, One Miscarries

Now that the gruesome hysteria surrounding abortion in Australia has faded with the continuing loss, and influence, of right-wing conservative power, it's time well overdue to bring a true 'dark secret' into the media spotlight. That the Australian mainstream media so rarely even discusses this daily tragedy affecting thousands of people is a tragedy in itself, and inexcusable.

Monica Dux :

I recently suffered a miscarriage. I was deeply shaken by the physical process and by the intensity of my grief. But...very few people were aware I'd even been pregnant. And because the pregnancy was a secret, its loss was doubly hard to broach.

Yet, as word of my "secret" slowly spread through my social circle, I was stunned by the number of miscarriage stories women suddenly had to share, as if I'd been admitted to a secret society. Some talked of long, excruciating waits before they could confirm the "failed pregnancy" diagnosis, others of their anguish as they passed a recognisable foetus. One acquaintance confided the disappointment of five lost pregnancies had been the biggest factor in the breakdown of her marriage. All the women spoke of how difficult it was to publicly express their grief, and of the silence that permeates the experience.

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health recently reported that, for every three women who have given birth by their early 30s, one has had a miscarriage. Yet despite its frequency, miscarriage is an almost invisible phenomenon. It seems our society is not geared towards grieving, or even acknowledging, the loss of an early pregnancy.

As the American author Peggy Orenstein has observed, the English language doesn't even have a word for a lost foetus.

Read The Full Story Here