First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss.
Your recent comments on the House floor and in this Huffington Post article inspired me to write the following. I wanted to send it to you directly, but your form on House.gov only allows your constituents to contact you, so this will have to do. I doubt you will ever see it, but I feel it's important to put this information out there anyway.
You said the following in the HuffPo article linked above:
You admit guilt, but for me there was no guilt, only the pain of a pregnancy that did not work. The fetus had slipped from my uterus into my vagina and could not survive. To stave off a life-threatening infection and to keep the possibility of a future birth alive, I had what’s called dilation and evacuation or “d & e.” But for people, particularly my colleagues who don’t want Planned Parenthood to be funded, I simply had an abortion.
I don't know the particulars of your pregnancy in question because you have not made them public, but let me share an experience I had in December of 2006.
When I had my first prenatal appointment in my second pregnancy, my midwife did an ultrasound because I was 12 weeks along and she couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat via Doppler. The ultrasound revealed that the baby had stopped developing at around 8 weeks, and there was no heartbeat. My midwife and an OB recommended that I have a D&C, since it’d been nearly 4 weeks since the baby’s death and nothing had happened naturally. I agreed and had the D&C a few days later.
That was not an induced abortion. That was a missed miscarriage.
From the sounds of it, what you had was also not an abortion. It was a miscarriage.
An abortion kills a baby who is alive prior to the procedure (and dead after it). The procedure itself is what kills the baby. In fact, the intention of the procedure is to kill the baby. If the baby lives, the procedure failed. (If the aim of the procedure was to treat a disease or a condition, and not directly kill the baby, then that is also not an abortion; it is an example of the principle of double effect, even if the baby's death is an unintended [if forseen] side effect of the procedure.)
A D&E or D&C for a missed miscarriage removes the body of a baby who died PRIOR to the procedure. In other words, the procedure did not kill the baby; the baby died of natural causes.
If you baby was dead prior to the D&E, then you had a miscarriage and a subsequent surgical procedure to remove the baby’s body from your body. If your baby was alive and well prior to the D&E, then you had an induced abortion.
If the baby had actually left your uterus, it's extremely unlikely that s/he was still alive at the time of your D&E. If that's the case, you did not have an abortion. You had a D&E after a miscarriage.
I have never met, either online or in person, a pro-life individual who would claim that the D&E or D&C prodcedures in and of themselves are moral evils. Such surgical procedures are morally neutral. They have very legitimate uses, such as to remove the body of a baby who died of natural causes from the body of his or her mother, or to remove extraneous placental tissue after childbirth or miscarriage. The procedures are only immoral when they are used to kill a living unborn child.
I can understand your confusion, as a miscarriage is often called a "spontaneous abortion" in medical terminology. However, as the National Center for Biotechnology Information states, "A miscarriage may also be called a 'spontaneous abortion.' This refers to naturally occurring events, not medical abortions or surgical abortions." (emphasis mine)
You should figure out the difference between an abortion and a miscarriage before you speak on this issue again, because all you’re doing is confusing the issue and making false claims against the pro-life movement.
Edit: This post spawned several replies, many of which I devoted to entire posts of their own:
Abortion vs. Miscarriage: A Response to crowepps
Replies to "Mary" and "SallyStrange"
Another Reply to Mary