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‘If you’re wondering why women’s rights matter’: Idaho woman shares horrifying experience trying to get treatment for miscarriage amid abortion ban

'They're always going to send me home.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Dec 18, 2022   Updated on Dec 27, 2022, 11:24 am CST

An Idaho woman says she has returned to the emergency room seeking medical care for an active miscarriage for the second time after being sent home previously.

Idaho’s total abortion ban went into effect on Aug. 25, 2022, preventing medical professionals from providing abortions in all cases.

In her video, TikTok user Carmen says she has returned to the emergency room seeking care for an active miscarriage after being six weeks pregnant.

“I’ve been actively miscarrying since the 8th,” she says in the video. “I have gone to a doctor and this is my second visit to the ER. If you’re wondering why women’s rights matter, I’m just going to fucking bleed out on this table before somebody comes and actually helps me. This is my life. Nobody actually is coming to help. They’re always going to send me home.”

In a follow-up video, Carmen explains that she did try to seek care in a border city in Oregon, but claims the specific place she visited still operated similarly to Idaho’s hospitals, meaning they followed the same anti-abortion laws. According to Carmen, the doctor did not approve a dilation and curettage procedure, also known as a D&C, which is a surgical procedure where the cervix is dilated so that the uterine lining can be scraped to remove tissue.

On the 16th, Carmen reveals that she went back to the ER to seek treatment and claims that at this point, she had been carrying a baby with no heartbeat for 8 days straight.

In another clip, she told viewers via text overlays that she sought care elsewhere based on a recommendation from viewers of the first video and was able to receive treatment via a pap procedure.

“This last doctor was the best out of all,” the text reads. “Thanks for the St. Luke’s in Boise suggestion. They didn’t do what I wanted but I got the help that I needed. They found the baby stuck by my cervix and did a pap procedure to remove it. They gave me the medicine equivalent of a [D&C]. 3 more pills in the next 24 hrs. I sleep and stop sharing now as the meanies have surfaced. ty all you saved my life.”

More than 1,700 viewers shared their frustration and anger on the woman’s behalf in the comments section.

“I’m SO SORRY,” one commenter wrote. “That is absolutely criminal how you’re being mistreated. I wish I could give you a huge hug.”

“This is why medical care should be between a person and their doctor,” another viewer said. “I’m so sorry & hope you find relief soon.”

“I’m so sorry youre going through this,” a viewer said. “No one should ever have to go this.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Carmen via Instagram for comment regarding the video, and this story will be updated with any comments received.

The Daily Dot has opted to withhold the user’s full name and any links to their social media to protect their privacy.

Update 11:19am CT December 27: In a phone call with the Daily Dot, Carmen explained that she had obtained an audio recording of the medical staff stating that they were denying the treatment she had asked for specifically because of the total abortion ban currently in place in her home state of Idaho. 

Since posting her video, she has received both immense amounts of support and hateful messages from viewers. Some of the more hateful comments threatened violence against her, she said, even as many loving commenters wished her well, shared their own stories of similar experiences, and offered advice. 

“There are a lot of amazing individuals that left thousands of comments of love and support,” she said. “That is one of the very large reasons I continued to do this, on top of the love and support from my boyfriend, friends, and family. But there were also a lot of really mean people.”

As a method of self-care, Carmen said she has removed most of her videos that do not document her experience seeking treatment for her miscarriage, and abstained from reading many of the comments left on her videos. 

She also said many of her viewers compared her situation to that of Savita Halappanavar, an Irish dentist who had a miscarriage in 2012. Ultimately, Halappanavar died from sepsis caused by the miscarriage, as abortion was still illegal at that time. Her death is credited with spurring change that led to voters repealing the law. 

Carmen said she hopes that by sharing her experience on TikTok, she can inspire similar changes—and be around to see them. 

“What would be cool is if I could live and we still change stuff,” she said. “But I know that I’m not enough to be a catalyst for change, which is why I’m asking for other women to start talking about this.”

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*First Published: Dec 18, 2022, 9:06 am CST