What It’s Like To Have A Miscarriage In A State Where Abortions Are Effectively Banned

Imagine being prosecuted for the crime of no longer being pregnant...

Woman in hospital bed Pormezz / Shutterstock

With the end of Roe v. Wade potentially on the horizon and states already trying to circumvent women’s rights to abortion, the dystopian image of a society that arrests people for the crime of no longer being pregnant is becoming more and more likely.

For one woman, that reality is something that she has already experienced in Texas.

Janneke Parrish took to Twitter to detail her experience of experiencing a miscarriage in a state with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the US.


She shares what it will be like to have a miscarriage if abortion is banned in US states.

As of 2021, women in Texas are banned from accessing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.   

At this point abortion in Texas is, for all intents and purposes, banned.

RELATED: If Roe V. Wade Is Overturned, Abortion Access Will Not Be The Only Human Right At Risk

Parrish started out her tread by explaining that she recently had a miscarriage at six weeks pregnant. When she started to feel sick, Parrish did the thing that anyone would tell her to and went to her doctor.


Parrish also explained that she was terrified of getting pregnant, it simply wasn't something she wanted.

"I have nightmares about being pregnant," she writes, "About being forced to have something grow inside me, and having to tear myself apart to bring it into the world."

However, that doesn't mean that she wasn't still concerned for her wellbeing when her doctor informed her that she had actually miscarried and that was where her symptoms were coming from.

When a doctor learned that she had previously had an abortion, things changed.

The questions started out innocuously enough, but when Parrish told her doctor that she had been pregnant before and had an abortion, the scrutiny began.


As the questions continued and the awareness of abortion's legal status in Texas loomed, Parrish said that she, “felt like I’d become a suspect in the death of something I didn’t know existed.”

RELATED: What It's Like To Have An Abortion One Month After Turning 13


While the doctor was eventually satisfied that Parrish wasn’t a fugitive for having been pregnant, her situation may become the new norm for women all over the country.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, many more women may be prosecuted for having miscarriages.

As Parrish explained in one of her tweets, criminalizing abortion, by definition, calls into question every instance of a miscarriage, as potentially being a criminal offence.

To those who doubt that people would be arrested on suspicion of having obtained an abortion, its already happened, right here, in the United States.


In 2019, a California woman was arrested and charged with murder for experiencing a stillbirth.

Unable to raise the millions of dollars needed for her bail, she spent 16 months in prison before a court eventually ruled that she had not, as the prosecution suggested, deliberatelty used methaphetamine to end her pregnancy.

Making pregnancy loss an arrestable offense also has broader, equally dangerous implications.


Studies show that criminalization of adverse pregnancy can deter women seeking medical care, putting their pregnancies at risk.

1200 people have been arrested since 2005 ceasing to be pregnant.

And if things continue as they seem to be, that number is only going to grow.

RELATED: If Texas Republicans Really Care About Reducing Abortions They Need To Stop Blocking Access To Contraception

Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.