I can think of one positive outcome of John McCain's putting those dismissive air quotes around women's "health": it seems to have inspired many women to share their own natal health stories, no matter how heartbreaking. In today's New York Times, N. West Moss talks about the secret pain of miscarriage. "To the extent that we have a language to talk about miscarriage, it’s full of airy platitudes," Moss writes, but the reality is a deep, sometimes unyielding ache."It starts when you feel that first unmistakable twinge that something is totally wrong. It continues through the rough days of sorrow and deep cramps, and then it meanders through every single day of the rest of your whole stupid life. I will probably mourn about this miscarriage in some outwardly unremarkable way until I either have a healthy baby or die," Moss bravely admits. Mom blogger Dooce linked to another mom blog called Flotsam, where a woman named Alexa talks about the baby she had who died at 22 weeks. "If McCain had his so-called 'culture of life,' and if my condition had progressed just a bit earlier, I would at least have lost my uterus, and I might very well be dead. All this in the interest of a baby who could not possibly have lived, because while an extremely few 23-weekers do survive, a by-then-severely-infected 23-weeker would certainly not. 'Culture of life,' indeed," Alexa rages. "I can tell you that I want people to know. I don’t want it to be a secret or a shadow or something that is endured only alone," Moss writes, "I want people to know that I have been through something, that I am tired but optimistic, that I’ve been knocked down but don’t help me up because I can get up myself." And these stories are precisely the brutal and vivid things we need to hear so that people like John McCain will never dismiss the idea of women's heath with soulless air quotes ever again.
Ulla Pugaard, NYT" />A Planet of Pain, Where No Words Are Quite Right [NY Times] Why Any Woman Who Intends To Vote McCain Should Reconsider [Dooce] More Wounded Than Eloquent, I'm Afraid [Flotsam] Earlier: Memo To Senator McCain: My Health Is Not An Extreme Position