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Update: the original post named the wrong candidate -thank you to those who pointed it out! I hate it when i do this!

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh is a GOP candidate for congress, says there is no such thing as a valid need for "abortion to save the life of the mother". there has been speculation as to what this means, and various people have looked for medical info about infection, hemorrhage, maternal death statistics, etc.

As a public service, here is info as to a very specific medical illness that fits this description. Any Labor and Delivery Nurse should be able to back me up on this. it is unusual, but not so rare that nobody has ever heard of it.

My heart goes out to any woman who has suffered this. the description below the fold may be a bit too graphic for some or contain triggers. I apologize.


I am not an MD, I am an RN. I have previously taught maternity nursing (which is unusual because I am a guy; in fact I the first male RN who ever taught maternity nursing in the history of the State of Maine (whichwill go on my obit someday).

There is an illness named "Gestational Trophoblastic Disease" (GTD) that happens about one-in-a-thousand pregnancies. Gestational Trophoblastic Disease"

There are ample sites vailable via Google Search on this, try

Molar pregnancy which leads to mayo Clinic info


blighted pregnancy which may or may not be the same thing, but is similar. This term was used by another poster describing her own tragic experience; I think most medical people dislike the term because it gives a subliminal message to the woman who experiences GTD to develop self-loathing as if her own body is unclean somehow ( and she is not - this is simply a medical event that should be nonjudgemental).

If GTD is not treated, the woman can develop a fatal form of cancer. fatal as in "death."

its treatable but the first step is an abortion. sometimes the GTD materials have parts that resemble fetal parts in a grotesque way, i am told.

bottom line is, the victim of GTS starts out with a happy "pregnancy" and is faced with the shock of realizing that there is no fetus and that she may die. This is not a situation that should be handled by anybody but the woman and her doctor and a support system of loving family and friends.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

    by guavaboy on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 03:51:51 PM PDT

  •  Patrick Murphy is a dem, it was Joe Walsh n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Are you sure about the candidate? (0+ / 0-)

    Patrick Murphy is a Dem running against Allen West in Florida, though it is likely a pretty common name I guess.  

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with." Rebecca Solnit The Rain on Our Parade.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 04:02:12 PM PDT

  •  thank you! Jow Walsh it is! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, Joy of Fishes, irishwitch

    He is the sitting congresssman running against Tammy Duckworth. An exc ellent diary from Kaili Jo Gray on him prompted me to write....

    "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

    by guavaboy on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 04:09:13 PM PDT

  •  OMG (6+ / 0-)

    What a horrible condition. I had never heard of that, but now I think I will be having nightmares.

    What I thought you were going to mention was pre-eclampsia, which is another medical condition that threatens the life of the mother unless an abortion is performed immediately. See

    •  sorry to disrupt you sleep. underscores my point (0+ / 0-)

      this is why we dance around it and use euphemisms.nobody wants to scare the lay public.

      first and foremost, I thought long and hard about how graphic to be. I have previously taught maternity, and ftrom the perspective of a faculty member, one of the first things we always needed to do was to gently re-orient the students to learn that working in this area was more than jusut playing with newborn babies of mothers who wanted the pregnancy. in reality, it's a place where we, as a society, play out our values, and come face to face with major issues such as this.

      now, if you are feeling queezy about it, imagine how the mother feels? here would be a woman who thinks she is prgnant, and mauy indeed want the pregnancy and be joyous about it. when GTD is diiscovered, she has to deal with the idea tha a) not only is this not a viable pregnancy but b) something "blighted" or somehow "dirty" is existing inside her own body, and c) she may die of cancer if this is not treated. even in the most supportive environment possible, this is a terrible load of psychological baggage to lay on a person.

      if we were add d) some Republican congresssman thinks you are now a criminal because this happened to you, it would tip people into madness.for me, this is among the many reasons I am pro-choice and think this is between a woman and her doctor!

      there are enough issues to overcome in women's health without this. I consider it to be analogous towomen who somehow convince themself that the lump in their breast is not cancer, then leave it untreated until it's too late. I have met such persons. Not a happy scene......

      as to pre-eclampsia (nowadays an outmoded term actually), there is a relationship between GTD and pre-eclapmsia; if it's a GTD pregnancy it's associated with prematurely elevated levels of HCG, a hormone, and the mother will have symptoms of pre-eclampsia at a much earlier onset in the pregnancy, a warning  sign to investiagte for GTD.

      "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

      by guavaboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:56:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Health of the mother (5+ / 0-)

    If white suburban women vote for a Mormon bishop (even GWB wasn't actually church royalty), then they're kissing abortion goodbye if their health is endangered by the pregnancy.

    These bigoted Republican men are bringing up the "life of the mother" as a problem because Romney already promised his admin wouldn't protect the "health of the mother," and Republicans want that to slip under the radar.

    Expectations setting. And white suburban women might just fall for it, to their everlasting shame I reckon - once they found out how easily they were fooled by Romney, his church, and Republicans in general.

  •  I had a partial-molar pregnancy. (7+ / 0-)

    Not fun. The doctor told me I must not get pregnant for at least a year to be sure it was safe. Oral contraceptives were a must.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 04:57:37 PM PDT

    •  my heart goes out to you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the treatment you received was absolutely necessary and never let anybody tell you otherwise. there was nothing you did to cause the molar pregnancy, it was beyond your control.

      "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

      by guavaboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:58:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I once read in a medical dictionary (3+ / 0-)

    that even "morning sickness" is sometimes so severe the fetus most be aborted to save the mother's life.

    Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.--H. L. Mencken

    by Ice Blue on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 06:00:09 PM PDT

    •  I wouldn't doubt it, even if I haven't heard of it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarkLadyNyara, Ice Blue

      If you can't keep anything down but water, there's only so much nourishment they can give you through an IV, and the closer it gets to truly life-sustaining long-term the more expensive it gets.

      Feeding tubes only work if the problem is getting the food in. Not keeping it in.

      Full-term pregnancy is nine months. Some women have morning sickness from two weeks in -first missed period - onward.

      A month is the upward limit of living without food. If you're only eating for one. Eight months with a baby trying to claim an increasing amount of what resources you've got left? Not going to work.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:41:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The medical term is Hyperemesis gravidarum (3+ / 0-)

      And yeah, it can get pretty bad. Some women with it can't even keep down water, and renal failure is one of many potential nasty complications, so abortion being necessary is definitely possible.

      Here's the Wikipedia article, if you're curious.

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges. - Anatole France

      by DarkLadyNyara on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:08:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ectopic or tubal pregnancy (6+ / 0-)

    can kill also.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:20:44 PM PDT

    •  Yes and unfortunately there is currently no (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, Cassandra Waites

      way to save the pregnancy by transplanting the embryo into the womb though they are working on the problem with some progress.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:00:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes (0+ / 0-)

      the list of conditions includes more than just GTD, I am focusing only on this one though. don't want to rewrite an entire textbook here.

      it should be between the woman and her doctor. period.the negative consequences of interfering and somehow laying blame or guilt on the woman, are so severe that to adopt any other approach is unconscionable.

      "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

      by guavaboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:02:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I concur (0+ / 0-)

        I'd prefer that abortion be between a woman and her doctor.  Period.  But if the opposing forces are going to split hairs, they should look at all the ways where mother nature, or God if you will, or simply the wonderful biological processes that govern development go awry.  

        Like anencephaly--if the fetus has no brain, or has some other condition completely incompatible with life, should a woman be forced to risk her life to give birth to it?

        Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

        by barbwires on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:17:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not an accident that the US is 41st in (0+ / 0-)

    maternal health and care, behind a lot of countries we would not here have predicted.

    And Walsh, of course, has not stopped long enough to think that all of those scientific miracles are those which allow mothers to survive, and very frequently do not allow the fetus to do likewise. It's kinda hard to say that the abortion prescribed by science is why mothers who would have died don't and therefore don't need an abortion. But they are Rs I guess.

    •  simple solution, really (0+ / 0-)

      vote them out.

      "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

      by guavaboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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