Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you believe this person's assertation that she knew a woman, decades ago, who was forced to carry her stillborn baby because it would have been considered an abortion to do otherwise?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43519points) 3 weeks ago

I call bullshit. The baby would have caused a massive infection as it decomposed. No doctor would allow that. That’s what they had D n Cs for back then.

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28 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

I was surprised to learn this:

“If your doctor determines your baby has died, you’ll need to discuss your options. If you do nothing, labor will likely start on its own within a few weeks”


Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would that surprise you?

Zaku's avatar

What person? Probably depends on the timeline and other details.

rebbel's avatar

A girl in my street, when I was a boy, was carrying her dead baby for a while, until they took it out or had her birth it (if that’s even possible).
But, she was walking around with it, that much I know (for sure, because the whole neighbourhood knew and talked about it).
This was the end of the seventies.

kritiper's avatar

As religiously nutty as some people are?? Yes, I’d believe that story…

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes actually. My Christian friend’s doctor said it could spontaneously abort on it’s own as she was opposed on religious grounds to a D&C.
We talked it through and she went for the D&C instead of waiting. This was three years ago.

JLoon's avatar

Religion being what it is, this sounds just whacked enough to be true.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Because it mentioned that some go through the whole pregnancy knowing that they baby’s heartbeat stopped.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ Pretty sure they’d miscarry after about a week. If it didn’t, the baby’s decomposing body would cause a hell of an infection. The body knows.

Brian1946's avatar

If it was post Roe V Wade (1973), I wouldn’t believe it.

However, I could believe some theocratic ahole trying to codify such an atrocity at any time in history, including the present.

sorry's avatar

When did this happen? Before antibiotics? I have never heard of a woman dying from carrying around a dead foetus. A dead foetus will generally be expelled within three weeks. Even if it isn’t, labour can be induced. Every pregnancy is different. Even if the mother develops an infection, there are treatments. It would also depend on if her water broke or not. If her amniotic sack is in tact, there is less chance of infection and she can deliver the baby when her body goes into labour. People were so naïve about these things, and many still are where sex education and human biology isn’t taught, so she could have been told she was being made to, like a punishment, and then treated for it later or she could have just expelled it on her own. Pregnancy has been a moral hot potato and not treated like a medical condition so I wouldn’t put it past her being told by an old male doctor that she had to carry it until it aborted naturally. He may have been monitoring the situation from his armchair and perhaps may have intervened it she developed complications, but I can believe this, yes. This would also be a good question for Mama Dr. Jones.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Then, later in the thread, she said the doctors induced her.
I said, “So she had a medically induced abortion…..”
Religious people are confusing.

kritiper's avatar

The baby may be brain dead, or have no brain, but the body itself is being fed and nourished by the mother via the umbilical cord. I would think the body would expel the baby if it was truly dead.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It would, eventually. But would you want to carry a dead baby inside of you for a few weeks? Think about it.

kritiper's avatar

Do I have medical insurance? Otherwise, how much money do I have to expel the thing? Think about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How would you feel emotionally , walking around with a dead baby inside you?
I don’t know what it cost. An abortion was $250 (I think) in the late 70s.

sorry's avatar

@Dutchess_III The doctor could have put off doing anything in hopes she would go into labour herself. Of course, we know, these days, it’s a horrific thing to do, but doctors have done worse things in the past.

kritiper's avatar

People walk around with cancers inside of them. What’s the big difference??

sorry's avatar

@kritiper How about this difference: Telling people you want your cancer surgically removed has never resulted in a jail sentence.

JLeslie's avatar

If she was induced then it was the same as an abortion, I completely agree. We can just call it terminating the pregnancy.

My MIL had a fetus die in utero. I think she was 5 months. They did a vertical c-section. This was Mexico 55 years ago. She said she was practically dying in the hospital. I don’t know if she had developed an infection from the dead fetus or maybe the surgery. I’m not even sure she had an infection, but something went very wrong.

I too think because of the risk of infection usually the fetus is removed.

Maybe she just meant it would be a still born and wasn’t dead in utero? Is that possible? I know two people who had fetuses with anencephaly and they didn’t have to abort but they chose to.

raum's avatar

Inducing is not the same as terminating a pregnancy.

You can induce labor for a viable baby. And you can also induce labor after a miscarriage (past a certain gestational age).

A miscarriage happens when the fetus dies in the womb. This is usually confirmed by OB.

Then you have the option of inducing labor or expectant management.

Meaning you let your body do what it will naturally do. This can take a few days. And can last up to four weeks. At which point, your body will go into labor to push everything out.

A lot of women opt to be induced. Because the idea of carrying around their deceased child can be emotionally traumatizing.

Brian1946's avatar


What’s OB?

JLeslie's avatar

@raum After a certain amount of weeks you can’t just suck the fetus out of the womb, the fetus is too big, the woman delivers. Delivering early to get rid of an unviable pregnancy is the same as terminating the pregnancy even if the religious woman doesn’t want to call it that, and even if the medical record doesn’t call it that. She had what is called an induction abortion most likely.

@Brian1946 Obstetrician.

JLeslie's avatar

Just want to add, delivering a dead fetus was probably written down as a stillbirth rather than an abortion. That’s my guess. If they needed to get around a legal issue.

raum's avatar

The pregnancy ends when the fetus is no longer alive.

Miscarriage refers to the whole process. It can be natural, medical or surgical.

If a woman is medically-induced to remove everything after the fetus has already died, it’s considered a medically-managed miscarriage.

Stillbirth is after 20 weeks. If the death occurs before or during labor.

JLeslie's avatar

@raum I just wonder the actual details of the situation and the liberties or interpretation the woman is making of her situation. Spontaneous abortion is another term used for miscarriage. This is why I don’t trust abortion statistics from certain groups.

raum's avatar

To answer the actual question, I would believe her if it was before 1985.

Around that time, there was a shift in medical language to distinguish between miscarriage and abortion.

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