“I’m pro-life, but what about…?”

okforlife Abolition, Advocacy, Pro-Life Leave a Comment

There is never a reason to murder a preborn person by abortion.

Does this statement make you feel uncomfortable?  Do you find yourself thinking, “But what about life-threatening situations?”  Even well-meaning, concerned pro-life people say things like, “I am pro-life, but with exceptions.”  We have all been trained to react viscerally to extraordinary circumstances and to justify evil policy based upon fear and misinformation.  Let us alleviate your fears and provide important facts about difficult pregnancies and affirm that we should never sanction abortion.

Ectopic Pregnancy.  (This section is a summary of testimony given by sixteen-year ultrasound technician Sarah Cleveland.)  An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in an abnormal location, somewhere outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube.  At only one percent of pregnancies, ectopic pregnancies are rare.  Symptoms include pelvic pain, spotting, nausea, and abnormal hCG levels.  By the time the ectopic pregnancy is located, the baby is usually already dead, as there is nothing in the area of implantation to sustain the life.

Doctors use ultrasound to locate the abnormal area between an ovary and the uterus.  In an ectopic pregnancy, this one to three-centimeter area contains primitive cells that would make the placenta, maternal blood, pregnancy cells, and a non-living microscopic baby, not a living baby.

Fallopian tubes are not designed to carry a pregnancy.  They are not very elastic, and they are highly vascular.  Therefore, the danger of an ectopic pregnancy is that the fallopian tube will rupture, causing internal bleeding and death of the mother without immediate intervention.  Consequently, it is important to surgically remove the heterogenous mass from the mother.  This is not murder by abortion.  It is true healthcare.

In even more rare instances, when a tubal pregnancy is found to be still living, doctors can closely monitor the health of mother and baby through the administration of regular ultrasounds and blood work.  Once the baby dies, surgery to remove his remains is morally acceptable.

If free fluid is observed in the pelvic area in conjunction with an ectopic pregnancy, this indicates that the fallopian tube has ruptured and that the baby has died.  This situation calls for emergency surgery.  But again, this would be true medical care, not murder by abortion.

There are extraordinarily rare cases of ectopic pregnancies located somewhere else in the abdominal cavity.  These babies have a much better chance of survival.  The baby must be able to attach to endometrial tissue to survive, so if the mother has abnormal placement of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, then there is a chance the baby can attach and grow to term.  Abdominal ectopic pregnancies are less than one percent of ectopic pregnancies, or less than one one-millionth (.0001%) of all pregnancies.

Ectopic pregnancies are medical conditions that need to be monitored and treated through a hospital.  They cannot be treated at an abortion facility.  Abortion facilities are not real surgical centers.  They are set up to scrape the inside of the uterus by entering through the cervix.  They do not perform abdominal incisions or operate on fallopian tubes.  These facilities are not set up to provide true medical care, because that is not their purpose or their business.  No pregnant woman is going to make an appointment with an abortion provider to treat her suspected or known ectopic pregnancy.  She should be on her way to an emergency room.

Understanding ectopic pregnancies will help us prevent legislators and naïve pro-life advocates from using them as an excuse to justify murdering preborn babies by abortion.

Threatening Complications.  Another common threatening complication is preeclampsia or eclampsia.  This used to be called toxemia.  This complication is characterized by high blood pressure, kidney problems, impaired liver function, and in more advanced cases, seizures.  Fortunately, these conditions can be monitored and managed.  You can learn more by searching for preeclampsia on medical sites like mayoclinic.org.

Medical Triage.  There is a common misunderstanding that if we ban or abolish all abortion, then some dramatic, life-or-death situation might kill a mother because a doctor could not perform an emergency, life-saving abortion.  We need to understand that even prior to the Roe v. Wade opinion, when all states had laws against abortion, none of these laws prevented doctors from practicing medical triage, which is the practice of saving as many lives as possible in emergency situations.  For the sake of argument, imagine that a developing baby somehow temporarily survives an ectopic pregnancy and a ruptured fallopian tube.  If a doctor removes that baby to save the life of the mother, he is not committing murder by abortion.  Rather he is saving as many lives as possible in that situation.  This is standard medical practice.

Ethical Legislation.  Many proposed pieces of legislation include language that tells doctors they are permitted to kill a child by abortion in certain circumstances.  This legal language is problematic, because the politicians writing the bills are not medical professionals.  By attempting to identify and describe specific medical situations in criminal statutes, they often inadvertently provide legal loopholes for abortionists to exploit.  Examples of bad statutory language which abortionists can exploit are:  “Abortion will be permitted in cases where the mother’s health is at risk” and  “A doctor may terminate the pregnancy of a woman with an ectopic pregnancy or when the unborn child has a lethal anomaly.”

Rather than trying to identify and define in statute any imagined need for an abortion, legislators should simply offer protection from liability in cases where doctors attempted to treat and save both the mother and the preborn child.  Anything else becomes a license to kill.

Disclaimer.  We are not medical doctors, and nothing in this newsletter is, or should be considered, medical advice.  Rather, it is an expression of our ethical opinion in layman’s terms after studying general practices, facts, and statistics regarding ectopic pregnancies and eclampsia.  The medical information provided in this newsletter is of a general nature and cannot be substituted for the advice of a medical professional, licensed doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, etc.  These opinions should not be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.

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