The Health Law, Policy, Bioethics, and Biotechnology Workshop provides a forum for discussion of new scholarship in these fields from the world’s leading experts. Though the Workshop is typically open to the public, it is not currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of our presenters will contribute blog posts summarizing their work, which we are happy to share here on Bill of Health.
By Greer Donley and Jill Wieber Lens
In the summer of 2020, celebrity Chrissy Teigen shared her son’s stillbirth with her tens of millions of followers on social media, including photos of her agony at her son’s simultaneous birth and death.
Teigen and her husband, John Legend, are noted supporters of abortion rights. After Jack’s death, Planned Parenthood tweeted its condolences: “We’re so sorry to hear that Chrissy Teigen and John Legend lost their son, and we admire them for sharing their story.”
Backlash was swift, accusing both Teigen and Planned Parenthood of hypocrisy, questioning how one could believe abortion involves only a “clump of cells,” yet grieve a pregnancy loss.
This anecdote perfectly highlights the perceived conflict between pregnancy loss and abortion rights — that any recognition of loss in the context of stillbirth or miscarriage could cause a slippery slope to fetal personhood.