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HR Apprentice. Ex Media Studies student at Swansea University. This blog is a collection of links, articles, academic reference and random thoughts.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Twitter user Penelope Trunk who Tweeted her miscarriage sparks media storm

By Tom Chivers
Published: 3:51PM GMT 03 Nov 2009

The miscarriage Tweet from Penelope Trunk Photo: TWITTER Penelope Trunk, who describes herself as an author, blogger and entrepreneur, wrote: “I’m in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there’s a f------up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin.”

Within a few hours, via the 20,000 followers of her Twitter account @penelopetrunk, the news made it on to CNN, The New York Times, ABC news and even Oprah.

She told one magazine: “It’s no different to me saying what I had for lunch. I thought nothing of it until the horrified followers’ replies started flooding in.”

Miss Trunk, 42, is a mother of two, a five-year-old and a seven-year-old. She had previously had two miscarriages, and had booked an appointment at an abortion clinic after discovering in August that she was pregnant once more.

Commenters have accused her of heartlessness, and a CNN interviewer asked if she had “no shame”. However, Miss Trunk argues that the real issue is the three-week wait for an clinic appointment in Wisconsin which would have forced her to travel to Chicago, Illinois, for her abortion.

She told CNN: “It seems everyone in the whole world would prefer a miscarriage to an abortion, even the Pope.”

She rejected the idea that her reaction shows a lack of compassion. "The first time I had a miscarriage I was sad about it, and it was a very typical experience," she told ABC. "But I think it's limiting that it's only OK to talk about miscarriages if you're sad about it."

She adds: “I was just stating a fact. To those who call me callous for being so matter-of-fact about losing a baby, I ask, what do you want from me?

“Do you expect me to cry every time I talk about it? It’s a fact: I’m happy I lost that baby.”

Miss Trunk has had plenty of support from the blogosphere. Rachel Walden, in the Women's Health News blog, said: "The idea that miscarriage is something personal that should be kept secret whether a woman wants to keep it secret or not, when so so many women have them, is a problem.

"The idea that people's bodies should effectively be hidden from the work environment where we spend so much of our time is problematic in its own ways."

Amanda Marcotte on XX Factor, a women’s issues blog, agreed, saying: "If the public at large had to face up to the fact that not every miscarriage is met with a vale of tears, that could have a dramatic impact on how we regard pregnancy, abortion, and women's diverse experiences with our reproductive functions”.

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