Even many pro-lifers concede that an abortion might be justified in order to save the life of the mother. The reasoning is that in such rare tragic dilemmas, either the mother or the child will die, so it is morally legitimate to choose which one it will be. If the mother’s life is at risk, this would be more likely to happen late in her pregnancy, so the life of the mother argument is used to defend the legality of late-term abortions.
But five physicians have issued a statement entitled It Is Never Necessary to Intentionally Kill a Fetal Human Being to Save a Woman’s Life.
If a woman’s life is at risk from her pregnancy, they write, this will nearly always be after the point of viability. The prescribed treatment utilized by modern medicine in those cases is to deliver the child, by C-section if need be, whereupon the baby, though premature, also has a chance to live.
Late-term abortions also involve delivering the baby, though the child is first killed in the womb or dismembered in the birth canal. But there is no reason to kill the baby in order to save the life of the mother, since her life can be saved by means of a live delivery.
There are rare circumstances in which a mother’s life is in jeopardy due to either pre-existing conditions or pregnancy complications. It is extremely rare for this to occur prior to the point of viability (currently 22 weeks after last menstrual period, 20 weeks after fertilization). After 20 weeks fertilization age, it is never necessary to intentionally kill the fetal human being in order to save a woman’s life. In cases where the mother’s life actually is in danger in the latter half of pregnancy, there is not time for an abortion, because an abortion typically is a two to three-day process. Instead, immediate delivery is needed in these situations, and can be done in a medically appropriate way (labor induction or C-section) by the woman’s own physician. We can, and do, save the life of the mother through delivery of an intact infant in a hospital where both the mother and her newborn can receive the care that they need. There is no medical reason to intentionally kill that fetal human being through an inhumane abortion procedure, e.g. dismembering a living human being capable of feeling pain, or saline induction which burns off the skin, or feticide with subsequent induction.
These five physicians say this about that bill:
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act provides a scientifically sound, medically accurate, and respectful approach to ensure that the innocent human being who survives an attempted abortion will be treated with the same human dignity and respect that similarly aged human beings receive in the course of good neonatal medical care. It also ensures that human beings with disabilities are not targeted for intentional killing at the moment of birth.