7-Quick takes

Join Me!

The Life and Health of the Mother

Baby angel

Updated.


Yesterday the United States Senate voted to ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation, and the bill failed at 51- to 46 votes.  60 votes were needed to pass this legislation. Here are the Catholic Senators. 

Every time abortion comes up, my friend Cecily hits social media to share her story. Yesterday was no different. This is what her Facebook account said.





Read her story here. 


But here's the thing. This procedure is exceedingly rare. Not many doctors perform it, unlike the Cesarean section that is performed on 30% of moms every day (which is also way too high!)  How is it possible that one of the most commonly performed surgeries in America is more dangerous than a relatively rarely performed abortion procedure?

In taking a look at the numbers, we see that approximately 6500 late-term abortions are performed annually.  (1% of abortions per gottmacher.org).  By contrast, over 1 million Cesareans are performed a year. 

But Cecily's argument was that the abortion protected her health and not just her life - even though she had to wait to be dilated and have her womb evacuated. Something about this just doesn't sound right.


Former abortionist  Dr. Anthony Levatino, \has testified that there is never a medical reason to deliberately kill the child to save the life or health of the mother.  Here's his example:


In cases where a pregnancy places a woman in danger of death or grave physical injury, a doctor more often than not doesn’t have 36 hours, much less 72 hours, to resolve the problem. Let me illustrate with a real-life case that I managed while at the Albany Medical Center. A patient arrived one night at 28 weeks gestation with severe pre-eclampsia or toxemia. Her blood pressure on admission was 220/160. A normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80. This patient’s pregnancy was a threat to her life and the life of her unborn child. She could very well be minutes or hours away from a major stroke.

This case was managed successfully by rapidly stabilizing the patient’s blood pressure and “terminating” her pregnancy by Cesarean section. She and her baby did well.

This is a typical case in the world of high-risk obstetrics. In most such cases, any attempt to perform an abortion “to save the mother’s life” would entail undue and dangerous delay in providing appropriate, truly life-saving care. During my time at Albany Medical Center I managed hundreds of such cases by “terminating” pregnancies to save mother’s lives. In all those cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.


Of course, these abortions are performed for other reasons besides maternal morbidity and mortality. Some are performed for fetal anomalies. I read a story yesterday about a mom who was offered hospice for her baby but was afraid that she would lose any authority over her baby's medical care, or be turned over to Child Protective Services if she wanted to end life support for her terminally ill child.

Another option we looked into was carrying to term and then admitting our daughter to perinatal hospice care, but our research revealed that those caring for her would have the power to decide if they should keep her alive by any means necessary, despite her discomfort. And if we objected to it, we could be charged with child abuse or neglect and could even lose custody of our oldest daughter. Knowing that, we didn’t feel we could risk carrying our baby to term and doing perinatal hospice.




That's another monster our society has created over the years and now fear of dealing with CPS is leading moms in the heartbreaking situation of dealing with a terminally ill baby towards abortion instead.

Other times these abortions are being performed for other socioeconomic reasons. 

Abortion rights advocates have long insisted that late-term abortions are performed only in dire circumstances involving threats to a mother’s life or in cases of severe fetal anomaly.  However, the above study, despite its limitations, suggests otherwise.  The characteristic similarities and delay commonalities observed across first trimester and late-term abortion groups suggest that women who seek abortion share similar characteristics across gestational ages.  The stressful circumstances of unprepared pregnancy, single-motherhood, financial pressure and relationship discord are primary concerns that must be addressed for these women.  However, these circumstances are not fundamentally alleviated or ameliorated by late-term abortion.  Indeed, late-term abortion places these women at greater risk of surgical complications, subsequent preterm birth, and mental health problems, while simultaneously ending the life of an unborn child.[18] As a medical profession and society, we rightly seek alternative, compassionate responses for the women seeking late-term abortion procedures for such challenging yet elective reasons.




Yesterday the Senate voted to ban late-term abortions. The majority voted for the ban but did not reach the required 60 votes. Yet the fact that this even came up for a vote should give the Pro-Life community some hope that we are making progress in saving the lives of the unborn in our country. Tragic stories may seem to make the availability of abortion a compassionate choice, but the science and facts of it do not add up. The enemies of moms who face this choice are still the same - poverty, divorce, lack of training and skills, and even facing legal pressure to abort. Planned Parenthood doesn't address these problems and abortion doesn't solve them. There is still much work to do for us to become a truly pro-life nation.



0