Surgery for Tubal Pregnancy Deemed an Elective Abortion??? The Discussion of Vision Forum’s Fiat Raises More Questions

 

A follow-up to:

Vision Forum, Samaritan Ministries Take Extreme “Pro-Life” Position on Ectopic Pregnancies

Following the previous post about Vision Forum’s plans to advance their thesis regarding surgical treatment for tubal pregnancy before confirmed death of an unborn baby as the ethical equivalent of elective abortion, several insightful questions have been presented in different areas around the blogosphere including the NLQ Forum.  They are worth noting.

The discussion raised some interesting questions about the actual risk (morbidity and mortality) related to ectopic pregnancy as weighed against the chance of a non-tubal ectopic pregnancy producing a live birth.  Refer to this HERE at Under Much Grace which includes some great diagrams and statistics from sources including the CDC and Lancet.


Most notably, ectopic pregnancy accounts for 6-9% of all maternal deaths in the US. Assuming that these statistics also apply to other developed countries and those countries that do not provide state-of-the-art care to their citizens, this translates to a rough single year death rate of 25,000 worldwide (in 2008 based on Lancet’s estimate) due to ectopic pregnancy.

And the odds of a baby from non-tubal ectopic pregnancy surviving the pregnancy? One in 60 million. That means that worldwide (assuming a general birthrate of 134 million annually for the past 30 years), only one such birth occurs every 6.7 years, based on a now current and somewhat stable global birth rate.

Vision Forum will laud one baby every 7 years while 25,000 mothers die in one year? Hmmm.

This information out of Lancet and from the CDC paints quite a different picture than Samaritan Ministry’s publications when they reproduced Vision Forum’s new dogma.(I think Vyckie’s karma ran over their dogma!)


Is it worth speaking out on behalf of women with ectopic pregnancy, even if it risks the downplay of the significance of the rare live births that result from viable ectopic pregnancies? What will the liberals say?

(I think that they will respect those who are trying to hold their own groups accountable. Liberals think we are hypocrites when we ignore our own problems while pointing out theirs! And they’re right to think so.)

From “dangermom”: What connection does the Schatz Family have to Vision Forum’s decree regarding ectopic pregnancy?

I believe that both issues point out Evangelical Christianity’s avoidant behavior regarding provocative issues that are not easily understood, are unpleasant, and might result in a loss of contributions from people who think it is unchristian to confront error. Rather than engage the serious natures of both these dilemmas, most ministries have completely ignored the matter. Rather than showing Christian compassion to what I am told is a fringe group that doesn’t equate to a “significant demographic,” suffering people who are precious to God are thrown away like so much inconvenient trash.

“Here’s the thing about the Schatz’s–they weren’t a crazy family. They were right there in the mainstream of QF, doing exactly what the Pearls’ book told them to do–to keep “switching” the defiant child until her will was broken and she submitted. They interpreted her cries as defiance, since she wasn’t “whimpering” like the Pearls tell you to expect. All their Christian friends liked them and considered Mrs. Schatz to be a gentle, kind, loving mother. . .

But since the Pearls’ advice is abusive and not Christian at all, a lot of children are severely harmed by it. And a few are going to die, until we get the word out there that it’s an awful book that should be thrown out and never followed. Lydia will not be the last victim, unless conservative Christians rise up and throw the Pearls out of their midst.

The real kicker about the Pearls and their ilk is that if you believe them, you–loving, well-socialized, reasonable you–will accidentally beat your child to death out of love and duty.”

Why is this decree such a big revelation?

This has been the unspoken and understood message within the ranks of the group from the beginning because birthing conveys spiritual blessing as if it were a sacrament.

Manipulative groups that use spiritually abusive tactics have two sets of rules: the Formal Doctrinal Statements and the “Unwritten, Understood Rules” that are conveyed through rhetoric, propaganda technique, and social pressure/proof. This example demonstrates the rare transposition of a provocative vaguely implied rule into a formal one. (Cultic groups generally avoid making direct and definitive statements.)

Who takes care of the brood of children that the mother already has if she is required to die during childbirth?
 
It has been suggested several places that acquiring a new young wife has its aesthetic advantages as well as a fresh host wife with more robust fertility.Do other families help homeschool the children who survive their mother, or is that duty left to young siblings? Do they rely on the Duggar Buddy System?

“Does any one else suspect that this might simply be an excuse for fundies to trade in their aging, likely run-down-from-too-many-pregnancies wife for a newer model, without going against their own beliefs and going through a divorce? . . . Since ectopic pregnancies are often potentially fatal, might … advocate them since the patriarch could win the disgusting baby lottery, in that his older wife could die, giving him the excuse to marry another, probably younger woman to “care for his motherless children,” whilst at the same time, giving him many more reproductive years?”
 
Why are women so expendable and less valuable than a terminal baby, essentially treated like a lesser being? Is it What are the chances that she’s carrying a male child, and will she get better treatment or worse treatment? Does this devaluing result from patriarchy’s defining of a woman as a being of lesser authority and is made for a man for man’s use in terms of her purpose (teleology) and her very essence (ontology)? Why must the mother be risked if the baby is already dying? Isn’t it better to save one instead of losing two people? Does the woman have a duty before God to honor the life that He gave to her, requiring her to live if she has a chance and her baby has none?
 
“[I]t makes me feel that what they call a “blessing” is what the rest of us call a “product”–something you crank out because you’re supposed to, not because you anticipate pregnancy and childbearing and parenting with excitement, wonder, and joy. So they must manufacture these blessing/products just to fit in with their religious culture, whether they really want to be parents or not.”

Is it every allowable to abort a pregnancy that is literally killing the mother because of conditions like HELLP Syndrome or unmanageable Pregnancy Induced Hypertension? Who cares for these women if they are rendered without mental function? Is Vision Forum going to pay for this care? Who pays to care for the NICU expenses for those babies who are barely viable?

“Even though they say it’s God’s will, they are actually getting to be the ones playing God with their wife’s life.”

How can Samaritan Ministries deny certain kinds of heathcare, apparently without accountability? Are they receiving funds from the government for “Faith Based Initiative” services? Are they not regulated by some outside organization?

Samaritan Ministries avoids accountability because they are classified as a religious ministry and enjoy the benefits of freedom of religion. Therefore, they are permitted to interpret ethics in any way they see fit without accountability to the government. Subscribers also basically sign their rights away after they are given informed consent about the policies which include the denial of any care believed to have resulted from sinful behavior. Their stringent requirements for qualification as a subscriber also include three services monthly (three Sundays out of every four). Could eating too much sugar be considered sin for a diabetic and coverage denied?

Vyckie Garrison reported HERE on the NLQ Forumthat she contacted Samaritan Ministries when pregnant after having already delivered three previous children via Cesarean Section. She was told that a hospital delivery would not be a covered expense, but that Samaritan Ministries would pay for a midwife to aid with a vaginal delivery at home. (After THREE previous C-sections?????) Do they think that uterine rupture is not a risk in such cases, or are they counting on the woman croaking? They aren’t that important anyway. Was the pregnancy some kind of pre-existing condition? If it was, why would they have then paid for a home birth, as this should have also been denied.

Could Vision Forum or Samaritan Ministries be cited for practicing medicine without a license?Could VF possibly be in violation of tax codes due to too much overlap between their for profit division (www.visionforum.com) and their not-for-profit arm (www.visionforumministries.org)? How do they get around suing fellow Christians? Where do they get their funding? Hasn’t anyone tried to hold them accountable before?

Many have discussed their anger and their sense of spiritual disillusionment ~  as the topic elicits deep feelings like survival guilt that mothers have after miscarriage, for pregnancy is always a deeply personal matter for any woman.

“I didn’t expect that they would try to make the world conform to their rigid doctrines but that is exactly what they are trying to do.”

Does Vision Forum offer much in the way of grief counseling, or do you just have to pay for your sinof being imperfect and managing to get the providence punishment in the form of a tubal pregnancy to start with? They are associated with those evil STDs! Gasp! Gothard does encourage “deliverance” (like an exorcism) and you can pick up evil from a Cabbage Patch Doll. Maybe you had a picture of a fly and a frog in your attic (plagues of Egypt) in your attic, right above your marriage bed?  Maybe it’s a sin that is carried over from some great great Jezebel grandmother, because Vision Forum teaches that sin visits children to the forth generation.

All legitimate and astute questions!

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman, RN, BSN, MMin , ND www.UnderMuchGrace.com

(Discussing the phenomenon of Spiritual Abuse in Evangelical Churches)

Discuss this post on the NLQ forums!

  • http://www.undermuchgrace.com cindy

    I have to address something here that I bantered around for the sake of argument to give some reference to what 1 in 60 million means. I believe that this number is a gross exaggeration of probability.

    This physician did not calculate the odds correctly, and my instructor in statistics would eat his lunch.

    He arrives at a rough estimate based upon numbers of pregnancies bounced off of all pregnancies to figure out an incident rate. But this is not scientifically accurate.

    What needs to be done to truly say anything meaningful (in terms of the rules of statistics) involves looking at the population subset in context to determine rules for that subset. What this physician is doing is making gross estimates, not determining probability.

    In other words, if you are going to make presumptions about probability for a subset, you have to look at the subset, not at the whole population. In other words, he is wrong to look at all pregnancies to find probability. (I also would like to see hard data that documents these supposed 60-100 cases of ectopic pregnancies.) But assuming they do exist, to determine probability that is meaningful, you have to start with ectopic pregnancy numbers themselves.

    Think about it. Ectopics occur in 0.003% of all pregnancies. We know definitively what those numbers are. We don’t have to extrapolate to arrive at them. Of that small number, 98% of those are tubal pregnancies and can never survive. What is 2% of 0.003%. It is not much.

    I’m to lazy to pull out the book and a calculator, but I suspect that the incidence is much greater than 1 in 60 million. It is probably more in the neighborhood of 1 in 120 million. (Lord only knows.) I think that 1:60 MIL is a gross overestimate of frequency.

    That’s why it is more efficacious in the discussion to look at maternal death rates and how many deaths are attributed to ectopic pregnancy to make a rational statement about incidence. The population of deaths is larger, it can be evaluated and put to the test with mathematical tools to ensure that it is meaningful.

    But I had to start somewhere…. Even with this gross overestimate, these odds are ridiculous.

  • http://dechant.dreamwidth.org Dechant

    Cynthia, thanks so much for this post. I’m not even a medical practitioner, and the question of tubal pregnancies’ viability seemed pretty obvious to me — tube ruptures, woman bleeds out. I hadn’t, of course, considered the idea that a patriarch would use an ectopic pregnancy to kill his own wife via negligence; I guess I wasn’t ready to think a human being capable of that in a supposedly Christian society. More fool me.

    “What will the liberals say?”

    It’s about time. :-)

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  • cloudscudding

    This is just bizarre. I had a tubal ectopic pregnancy recently and I still grieve the loss of the potential child and the damage to my fertility (they caught it really late, and had to do emergency surgery to remove the tube before it ruptured in order to save my life).

    Tubal ectopic pregnancies are non-viable. They *cannot* go to term (or even more than a couple of months) without killing the mother.

    Non-tubal ectopic pregnancies less common, but there have been only a couple of instances of successfully carrying to term.

    I’m also Christian, and happy to say that my pastor was very supportive during my recovery from the surgery. We’re not all dangerous idiots!

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  • Jennifer

    I had an ectopic pregnancy plus 8 other pregnancy, four children. Was quiver-full, above rubies, dominonist. My eyes have been opened to the false teachings in these groups. I guess I should have bleed to death and died and left my children. This new thing about ectopic pregnancy being abortion makes me sick. I still have faith in the Word of God but this stuff is cult teachings.

  • Jennifer

    When I was 3 months pregnant and the baby had no heartbeat, my body did not dispel anything. My insurance called it an elective abortion. Although reading that on the hospital documents made me want to vomit, it did not mean I chose to kill my baby. Is this just semantics? Was the mother not cared for physically or did she have to pay for the procedure? I didn’t find a link to the original incident.