072205pm-7031dh President George W. Bush talks to his mother Barbara Bush, Friday, July 22, 2005, during their appearance at a Conversation on Senior Security at the Boisfeuillet Jones Civic Center in Atlanta, to talk about Social Security and Medicare. White House photo by Paul Morse

President George W. Bush’s new book focuses mostly on his presidency and its most decisive moments, and that’s what media coverage is analyzing. But suddenly, someone noticed a snip in the book that referred back to earlier days, and Bush used the ‘f’ word….the one people don’t comfortably use in polite society.

That caused a flap. This is interesting

When George W. Bush revealed on national television that he had witnessed a “little brother or sister” when his mother miscarried and carried a fetus in a jar to the hospital, online media and their followers were shocked.

It was just a passage in the former president’s memoir, so why did this detail — only five paragraphs long — get so much attention in the digital sphere?

“Whoa! Just whoa,” gasped one commenter…

“I had no intention of creating a national dialogue,” Bush said. “My intent was to describe a relationship between my mom and her son and an interesting anecdote that helped the reader understand why my mother and I are so close.”

That dialogue, say psychologists, illustrates the “ick” factor when discussing miscarriage and misunderstandings about a loss that is still treated in hushed tones.

(this is getting very interesting)

“It’s just the sight of blood and human tissue that is hard for people to see,” said Sandy Robertson, a 52-year-old Colorado professor who had six miscarriages. “Then you’re dealing with the death of a baby on top of it.

“Our society, at least in this country, is so sterile anyway,” she said. “People just aren’t used to seeing that.”

Exactly. Which is why abortion was easy to sell to the public with semantics. People don’t see what happens in an abortion. “You’re dealing with the death of a baby,” and women are left dealing with it on their own when “misunderstandings about a loss” are hushed up.

Barbara Bush did exactly what she was supposed to do, by the textbook.

In fact, there is nothing weird about the practice. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in their 2010 patient education pamphlet recommends:

“If you have heavy bleeding and think you have passed fetal tissue, place it in a clean container and take it to the doctor for inspection. Your doctor will want to examine you.”

Dr. Tracy W. Gaudet, an obstetrician and executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine in North Carolina, said when her mother miscarried her twin, she, too, took the remains to the hospital, just as the Bushes did.

The protocol is the same today, she said.

But the politics are something else.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....