Meghan Markle recently sat down for a conversation with award-winning journalists Jessica Yellin and Gloria Steinem to discuss a number of topics, from women’s rights to a post-Roe v Wade America.
The Duchess of Sussex, who has been a staunch advocate for paid leave and fair labor rights for women, opened up about her pregnancies and miscarriage and their relation to mental health in the interview. “I think about how fortunate I felt to be able to have both of my children,” said the mother-of-two, referring to her three-year-old son Archie, and daughter Lilibet, who recently turned one. “It’s interesting that here you’re talking to two women: one who chose to give birth happily, and one who chose not to give birth happily. And we’re both prospering because we were able to make our own choices. Incredible.” While talking about how men need to be involved in supporting women’s reproductive rights, Markle said, “Men need to be vocal in this moment and beyond because these are decisions that affect relationships, families, and communities at large.” She added, “They may target women, but the consequences impact all of us. My husband and I talked about that a lot over the past few days. He’s a feminist too.”
Markle went on to refer to her miscarriage, and her experience with the grief and sense of loss associated with it, and also stressed on the need to destigmatize discussion surrounding women’s reproductive health. “I know what it feels like to have a connection to what is growing inside of your body,” she said. “What happens with our bodies is so deeply personal, which can also lead to silence and stigma, even though so many of us deal with personal health crises. I know what miscarrying feels like, which I’ve talked about publicly. The more that we normalize conversation about the things that affect our lives and bodies, the more people are going to understand how necessary it is to have protections in place.”
Markle had first revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in June 2022 in a raw and moving essay that was published in the New York Times in November of the same year. She shared details about the previously unspoken part of her life in an attempt to reduce the stigma and taboo around the subject.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote in the essay. “In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning. Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same.”