Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Abortion when the woman's life is in danger

Some people ask: "Why don't pro-lifers accept abortion when the woman's life is in danger? Are they anti-woman?"

First of all, I would like to extend my sincerest sympathies to any couple which is faced with a pregnancy where the mother's life is in danger. That's a very difficult situation. My heart and prayers go out to them.

Obviously, when the life of the mother is at risk, it is justifiable to intervene, even if the baby dies. That is what pro-lifers believe. Only a thin veil separates pro-lifers and pro-choicers when the health of the mother is in danger. The nuance between the two is this: pro-lifers recognize that the standard abortion procedure is not the appropriate surgical intervention to be made in such a case. Another approach should be used that doesn't seek to kill the unborn baby so directly. Yes, it may have the same result of killing the baby (as a secondary effect), but you wouldn't use the standard abortion procedure (which is simply a seek-and-destroy mission against the unborn child). For pro-lifers, the intention is not to kill the baby but to allow surgeons to access fix the mother's health problem. If anything could possibly be done to save the mother while also saving the baby, it would be done. But if the two are mutually exclusive, it is justifiable to take an action that would save the mom and have a secondary effect of killing the baby.

Intentions and the means of action are important in a civilized society. For example, intention makes all the difference between first degree murder and self-defense. Likewise, if you need to put your sick dog to sleep, you would choose a means of action that results in the least amount of suffering possible for your dog. I'll say it again: intentions and the means of action are important in a civilized society.

Medical research has shown that there is no health condition of an expectant mother that absolutely requires the standard abortion procedures in order to save the woman's life. None. There is always another way to save the woman's life, a way that is more respectful of the unborn baby, even if the baby has to die as a secondary effect. That's the basic reasoning of pro-lifers. That's why pro-lifers believe that all forms of abortion can be banned without the risk of criminal prosecution in the case where a woman's life is in danger.

Pro-lifers are not anti-woman. We just want to make sure that no abusive measures are taken against the unborn child. So contrary to what some other bloggers may claim, pro-lifers accept that a mother's life may be saved, even if the unborn child dies. Moreover, abortion can be banned without having women worry about criminal prosecution if the pregnancy is ended because their life is in danger.

Big Blue Wave provides another intelligent and accurate discussion of this topic.

Take care.