Barbara Bush & Her Miscarriage Should Be Off Limits

Heather Murphy-Raines
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Heather Murphy-Raines/Scout's Honor
Who are we to judge? Yet, as mothers and women, judge we do -- even when it's something as personal as a miscarriage

President George W. Bush wrote about his mother's miscarriage in his new book Decision Points. Details included Bush saying that his mother showed him the fetus in a jar, which profoundly affected his views on the right to life.

When this tidbit came out, the judging and comments on blogs were immeasurable. What kind of mother would do such a thing? Asked the partisan minions eager to rip apart a conservative woman. 

They disregarded the rumor that the former first lady actually supports choice in her private life. They were just eager to rip her to shreds.

Now, it seems while Barbara Bush did give her son permission to relay her miscarriage tragedy, she points out that the facts were a tad different than reported in his book.

The housekeeper put the fetus in the jar perhaps. The housekeeper might have given it to George W. Certainly, it was not kept "in the library" as an oddity, as some blogs suggested:

Why? Perhaps to collect for her health, to be examined by a doctor? Perhaps to make sure the pregnancy had been completely ended so the risk of infection was lessened? I am sure there are many logical and sound reasons.

But in the end, really, who cares? Who are any of us to judge how a woman grieves after a miscarriage? I look at a line of malicious comments and wonder how these women and mothers can judge one another so viciously?


Dim Recollections?
Yes, Barbara Bush gave permission for her son to cover a tragic but formative event in his family life in his book Decision Points, but no one gave permission for the level of malignant judging that occurred across the nation to follow -- which, in the case of the fetus in a jar, turned out to be an untrue accident of memory. 

No one gave permission for the mockery in comments on blogs that followed. 

I am aware some Americans were very dissatisfied with the Bush years, but to mock such a private and grief-filled point in a mother's life?

What kind of people are we? What kind of women are we? I am ashamed that some Americans think miscarriage is ever a legitimate topic to mock with such zingers as Wonkette's:

Junior, doesn’t your sister the fetus jar look beautiful in her prom dress? Pull her out of the goo and pin that corsage on her, wouldn’t you? Then give her a kiss goodbye. She’d best be going or she’ll be late!

Or worse, the castigation she received in the Daily Beast comments:

A miscarried baby should not be squeezed into a clear mason jar like some kind of sick science experiment or pickled beets...

[T]he NATURAL instinct of a woman would be to wrap it in a blanket !!! to nurture it even in death!

Actually, at that point in gestation, the fetus is a parasite. That's the only part Barbie got right -- other than that, the whole idea is bizarre and sick for any modern day woman (she's not THAT old for goodness sake).

Barbara Bush has come across many times over the years in news accounts and books as a hostile, angry woman. She is not the nurturing, caring maternal figure of social conservatives' favored gender stereotype. In other contexts, George W. has seemed to emphasize this point, for example by making fun of her unwillingness to cook for her family. The "fetus in a jar" incident shows at the very least Barbara's extreme insensitivity to her son's feelings, and at the most an abusive turn of mind...

Sick bastards! Everyone grieves in their own way. Leave the woman alone!

{Shaking my head}

 

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