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The Daily Beast’s “abortion” story wasn’t about abortion at all

Baby at 20 weeks

The Daily Beast is no stranger to posting pro-abortion articles. But recently, they used Donald Trump’s comments on punishing abortionists (and women) for abortions to peddle a completely misleading, fear mongering piece.

The pro-life movement has long believed that it is abortionists who should be punished for performing illegal abortions – not women.

But The Daily Beast’s Chavi Karkowsky capitalizes on fears of incarceration for both in a piece inaccurately titled, “The Hardest Abortion I’ve Ever Had to Perform.” As it turns out, the procedure she discusses wasn’t even an abortion – it was the delivery of a stillborn child following the premature rupture of amniotic fluid at 19 weeks. But you have to read the article to find that out…

And then what I did next was very similar to offering her an abortion…   Mostly what we saw was infection, I reviewed, infection that can get into her body through her uterus, now defenseless. Once there, it can make her sick very fast, and won’t get better until the uterus is empty. I told her since waiting was unlikely to help the pregnancy survive, the safest thing would be to induce her labor and end her pregnancy.

What I offered her, then, was an induction of labor. No metal tools; no operating room; no terrifying instruments. But I offered her an induction at a gestational age at which the fetus cannot survive, because it is so early.

Inducing labor to save a mother’s life after her bag of waters has already ruptured and she has acquired an infection is not an abortion. In fact, Karkowsky admits that she didn’t even had to induce labor, because the woman was already dilated:

When I did the exam to place the medication, the patient was already several centimeters dilated. I put the medication away. Her body was trying to save her, and had started emptying her uterus. Ten minutes later, her son—tiny, too tiny—was born. He never had a heartbeat.

As a doctor, Karkowsky should know that this little boy’s heart was beating inside his mother’s womb, at just 21 days after he was conceived, despite the fact that he was stillborn. Besides this, her claim that the woman’s “body was trying to save her, and had started emptying her uterus,” is even more evidence as to why this premature delivery was not an abortion.

What Karkowsky and so many pro-choicers get wrong is a basic premise of abortion: an abortion is done with the direct intention to end the life of a preborn child. The death of the child mentioned by Karkowsky was not directly intended; instead it was an unfortunate consequence of this situation – a miscarriage. But Karkowsky continues with the fear mongering:

So really, isn’t this an abortion? Should we talk about punishing her, now? Or perhaps just me? Which one of us should go to jail?

No. Actually, it isn’t an abortion. The child was already deceased, and there was no intent to kill the child. This is a typical abortion done at 19 weeks gestation:

Why all this talk of jail and punishment? Both Karkowsky and The Daily Beast have made an egregious error in incorrectly categorizing the delivery of a stillborn infant as an abortion, likely in an attempt to drive up public contempt for the pro-life movement.

No one would ever go to jail for what Karkowsky described, even if abortion were made illegal – because it’s not an abortion. Her piece misrepresents the pro-life stance and our absolute regard for the lives of mothers entirely. But then, maybe that’s the point.

Next time, Karkowsky and The Daily Beast should research the pro-life position (and the basic facts) before they publish pieces in an attempt to discredit the movement. Until then, though, let’s not hold our breath.

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