Analysis

Physicians affirm: premature delivery to save mother’s life is not abortion

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Say it with me: abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother.

No, really. It’s not. There is a lot of confusion, even among pro-life advocates, regarding so-called medically necessary abortions. But – like other semantics employed by abortion sympathizers – that term is a misnomer. Now, pro-life physicians are setting the record straight about measures that, at times, need to be taken to save the life of a pregnant mother. While these measures can lead to the death of her child, they are not abortions. Furthermore, abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother.

Physicians are clear that separating mother and unborn child outside the context of full-term delivery can be necessary at times (this is called preterm parturition). In a statement entitled “Premature Delivery is Not Induced Abortion,” the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (AAPLOG) explains (emphasis added):

There are times when separating the mother and her unborn child is necessary to save the life of the mother, even if the unborn child is too premature to live. In those tragic cases, if possible the life of the baby will be attempted to be preserved, and if not possible, the body of the unborn child is treated with respect, recognizing the humanity of the life which is lost in the separation. In contrast, the purpose of an induced abortion is to produce a dead baby.

This separation can lead to the baby’s death if, for example, the baby is not developed enough to survive outside the nurturing and nourishing environment of the womb. And, tragically, there are times when not separating mother and child would mean certain death for both mother and child.

These situations are heart-wrenching, but the values we apply to our pro-life stance – i.e., that human dignity is always to be respected, and that human life is to be preserved from conception until natural death – remain firmly intact even in these difficult cases. Pro-lifers needn’t shy away from proclaiming that we are pro-woman in every circumstance. And, importantly, we must put to rest the idea that killing a woman’s child is ever a pro-woman solution to any problem she may face.

Go here to read how the Dublin Declaration is working to promote truly pro-woman care in life-threatening pregnancy situations.

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