Wisconsin Woman on Twitter: 'Thank Goodness' for Miscarriage

Penelope Trunk is coming under fire from some for her candor online.

ByABC News
September 30, 2009, 6:08 PM

Oct. 1, 2009— -- Penelope Trunk, 42, built her career advising others on how to create a professional online identity by telling them what to share and what to leave out.

But early last week, the professional blogger and CEO of her own company, "Brazen Careerist," posted on her Twitter account, "I'm in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there's a f***-up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin."

Trunk's apparent relief and offhand attitude toward her unwanted pregnancy has fueled the debate among many women on whether she and others are overstepping their professional boundaries by going public online about controversial health issues.

"The issue of pregnancy stirs up a lot of emotions," said Scott Wetzler, clinical psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. "Her bravado suggests that everything is OK, but things are more complicated than she's making it out to be. There's nothing wrong with her brazen [attitude], but underneath I think there's more ambivalence she's not acknowledging."

Trunk's candor resulted in more than 70 of her Twitter followers jumping ship -- a consequence that Trunk told ABCNews.com she found surprising.

The Wisconsin resident said that her attempts to schedule an abortion in that state turned into a bureaucratic nightmare when she attempted to go through her insurance provider. She subsequently made an appointment to have one in three weeks in Illinois. But within three days of the appointment, she miscarried, she said.

"I thought a lot of people would be responding about having to cross state lines to get an abortion, but a lot of it has also been [about] whether you should be sad about miscarriage," Trunk told ABCNews.com. "I think the issue surrounding the three-week wait is controversial, but not the relief."

Trunk, who has two children and has recently had a divorce, said she had already experienced a miscarriage after the first of her two children were born.

"The first time I had a miscarriage I was sad about it, and it was a very typical experience," she said. "But I think it's limiting that it's only OK to talk about miscarriages if you're sad about it."

Trunk added that while many of the responses to her tweet criticized her for releasing too much personal information, some women in the blogosphere are applauding Trunk's frankness about her feelings.

"The idea that miscarriage is something personal that should be kept secret whether a woman wants to keep it secret or not, when so so many women have them, is a problem," wrote Rachel Walden, of Nashville, Tenn., in the blog, "Women's Health News." "The idea that people's bodies should effectively be hidden from the work environment where we spend so much of our time is problematic in its own ways."

"If the public at large had to face up to the fact that not every miscarriage is met with a vale of tears, that could have a dramatic impact on how we regard pregnancy, abortion, and women's diverse experiences with our reproductive functions," wrote Amanda Marcotte in the women's issue blog, "XX Factor."