The one and only Cher got candid with the world yesterday when she shared her past experiences with miscarriages on Twitter. The singer explained that during her almost decade-long marriage to her first husband, Sonny Bono, she experienced three miscarriages, and the first one was at just eighteen.
And she didn’t bring up the experience for no reason: she did so to center the importance of abortion rights, medical privacy, and a person’s right to make decisions about their own bodies in the United States in the wake of the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
“When I was young, I had 3 miscarriages. 1st at 18. I was alone in our house. Son came home & I was sobbing & rocking on our floor. When I got 2 dr, I was screaming in pain. Couldn’t even stop in [the] elevator.dr sent me straight 2 hospital,& in2 operating rm. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN 2 ME TODAY,” she recounted in a tweet.
Cher went on to have two children, Chaz Bono, 53, and Elijah Blue Allman, 46 — and she is no stranger to advocating for women’s right to decide. In an interview with Parade Magazine in 2010, Cher also shared, “I lost four kids before Chaz. It’s a spontaneous miscarriage, something that spontaneously aborts the fetus. It’s called an angry uterus.”
“After the third time, it got to be a nightmare. People would be congratulating me because I was pregnant, and then I wouldn’t be, and then they would be like, ‘Oh, we’re so sorry.’ I thought, ‘God, I don’t want to have to hear this anymore,” she continued.
Cher also experienced complications after maintaining a healthy pregnancy, sharing, "When I got pregnant with Chastity, my doctor said, 'In the beginning, you have to stay in your bed, and then as it gets to be three months, you can get up, but you have to stay in the house. I don't want you riding in cars, ‘I want you to stay at home.' I did. With Chaz, I had a really difficult delivery, and then I hemorrhaged after I came home. It was touch and go.”
Why is Cher’s heartbreaking history of miscarriages relevant to Roe v. Wade and the current legal status of women and child-bearing people in America? Even in the short period of time since states took control of abortion rights, women who are miscarrying have been denied D&C procedures — which protects against infection and maternal death, and which helps patients avoid the pain and trauma. In addition, expectant mothers who are put in danger because of complications with the fetus are facing severe complications when doctors wait for the fetal heartbeat to stop before performing a D&C and saving the mother.