Editor’s note: Life News uses the death of a woman who from all accounts wasn’t Quiverfull to make a point about how good Christian mothers are supposed to carry pregnancies that will end their lives to the end, no matter what the doctors advise. They are canonizing the dead women Suzanne Mazzola as an example to be looked up to instead of a woman who took a risk and paid the price. It was her decision and her’s alone to make, but typically Life News ignores that. If they had their way that decision would be made in advance for all women.
Mazzola proved that there really is no greater love than laying down’s one life for someone else. The 34-year-old died last week after giving birth to her fourth child, a beautiful little boy named Owen.
Natasha Chart of RH Reality Check had this to say about the pro life Life New’s spin on the tragic death of Mazzola in Framing Suzanne Mazzola’s Death in Childbirth as a Martyrdom is Disturbing and Dangerous
Because whatever Suzanne Mazzola thought in life, now her situation is being used to glorify what’s being portrayed by anti-choice activists as a choice to die by refusal to consider abortion as a treatment option.
Though I did some checking, and regardless of what her position on abortion might have been, that’s probably not what Mazzola thought was going on. From what’s been reported, she was scared of what might happen, and I think most people would have been were they in her shoes, but as a friend of hers told the SunSentinel, no one expected this outcome.
There are some pregnancy complications for which doctors will automatically, if they’re not practicing in a Catholic hospital, recommend abortion because it may reduce or eliminate the risk to the mother’s life. According to medical professional groups, placental accreta, Mazzola’s condition, in which the placenta has burrowed into the uterine lining, is not necessarily one of them. Both abortion and delivery pose the risk of serious complications, and Mazzola reportedly had a serious form of the condition. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the following as a general management guideline: Wait until near the usual point of fetal lung maturity, usually around 34 weeks but customized to the patient, and perform a scheduled, preterm cesarean section delivery with either a resection of the uterus or a hysterectomy, and to be prepared for the onset of serious bleeding. ACOG says that maternal mortality can be as high as 7 percent for placenta accreta patients, which is many times the usual rate, but it’s still a 93 percent chance of survival.
Mazzola went in at 35 weeks for a scheduled c-section, which is very close to the treatment recommendation that someone would get from recent ACOG guidelines. Tragically, her blood loss was too severe, though the availability of 15 doctors in the operating room for her treatment suggests that the hospital staff were prepared to do everything they could, doubtless in consultation with the family. That doesn’t sound to me like giving up. It sounds like a case where someone who wanted very much to live couldn’t be saved from a dangerous health condition. That happens sometimes, even with the best medical treatment.
In other words, given a frightening diagnosis during a wanted pregnancy, Mazzola appears to have hoped for the best and done exactly what most doctors would have advised for the best chance of survival. To rewrite this as if it were some kind of deliberate choice to go to her death—which the framing of Ertelt’s article implies—appears to be a substantial misreading of usual medical practice in treating placental accreta in the absence of other emergency complications.
That’s the problem with the lack of information in the world of Pro Life and Quiverfull, it many times presents a false picture to those within, and many times creates more martyrs by the disinformation campaign waged by the extreme version of Christianity own cultural enforcers. It has a body count.
Our thoughts and well wishes go out to the family of Suzanne Mazzola. I pray they never discover that their tragedy is being marketed by Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity to keep mothers from making hard choices.
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