Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Martyrdom by Ectopic Pregnancy (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.

Find the Index of all posts HERE.

Can you elaborate on the experiences you've heard from survivors of the QF cult? The lack of healthcare, emotional and physical abuse, risks of so many pregnancies and births, girls being robbed of their own childhoods, shame surrounding bodies and sex et cetera. It would be great to flesh those as a little so the readers can really understand the terrible impact of these on the women that you've helped.

Pregnancy and Birthing, Response Part Four:

Because QF/P places so much emphasis on the value of the unborn, eventually, the discussion extended to the problem of ectopic pregnancy in which many leaders in the movement decided that they would practice medicine, declaring all surgeries to rescue a woman from the life-threatening consequences of any ectopic pregnancy to be an abortion that would consign their unborn baby to hell because of their alleged act of murder. Because women become little more than a vessel that carries a being that is more valuable and pure than they can be, many leaders began teaching that women should refuse all intervention for ectopic pregnancy in order to die as martyrs for the pro-life cause.

Tubal pregnancies constitute 98% of all ectopic pregnancies, present an immediate risk of fatal hemorrhage for the mother, and for a host of reasons, all tubal pregnancies prove to be non-viable. Of the 2% of non-tubal ectopic pregnancies, though it may be possible to carry such a pregnancy, all also pose great risk to the survival of the mother. 

Each case is unique, based on where the fertilized egg implants, though in vary rare cases for which statistics are impossible to obtain, a rare baby survives. However, the Patriarchs saw an opportunity to exploit the this issue, asking women to reject intervention for any and all ectopic pregnancies in the spirit of the pro-life effort. Prior to vigilant surgical treatment of ectopic pregnancy, one in three women died from the condition, and with treatment today, ectopic pregnancy complications still constitute 9% of all pregnancy-related maternal deaths.

Those of us who opposed this teaching are grateful to the pro-life arm of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for graciously writing a position statement on the lifesaving intervention to save the very valuable lives of mothers with the condition. After the publication of the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ position statement, I received much feedback from gracious families who believed that they had murdered their children. 

These families were pleased to learn that by the time that the condition of the mother became life-threatening, the pregnancy had already ended spontaneously on its own, causing the hemorrhage which required the medical attention they received. Though I found it rewarding to bring such liberating news to those so affected, I still feel angry that these suffering parents were burdened with needless, ignorant heartache and unmerited shame through ridiculous beliefs.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage
August 2015