Being pro-life means that you stand for life, not “stand-for-life-most-of-the-time.” Sadly, when the mother’s life is threatened, people side with aborting the baby and letting the mother live.
Yes, supporting the life of the mother is pro-life, but supporting the death of the baby is against life. This heart breaking issue is not taken lightly. For many, when this situation occurs, it is one of the most difficult times to deal with and handle. But this does not mean that we close the door on science and reason. We need to be aware our circumstances and walk circumspectly (Eph. 5:15-16). It does not mean we set aside our compassion and our heart. But as thinking people, let’s step back and think through this and get a second opinion. Although doctors are very knowledgeable in their field, they are not infallible. They can be wrong.
The goal and attitude of conservatives is to protect and save life. How this looks will differ from situation to situation, but the goal and attitude will be the same.
What is controversial amongst those who claim to be pro-life are the “rare” exceptions. For the sake of brevity, this article will mention three: molar pregnancies, ectopic pregnancies, and pre-eclampsia.
We will see why they are invalid as “exceptions” according to practicing medical doctors.
Molar pregnancies occur when there are issues with the sperm and egg during fertilization and they rarely develop into an embryo. Due to hormones, the body believes it is pregnant and has the symptoms as such. As Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell from Answers in Genesis reports, “the correct medical terminology can be distressing and confusing.” Although the terminology mentions “pregnancy” and “pregnancy termination,” molar pregnancies do not produce living children. Molar pregnancies are a clump of tissues and “abnormal placental tissue.” Molar pregnancies are not and should not be categorized under a pro-life issue when it comes to saving the baby’s life. There is no baby. Categorizing this under the abortion exception is misleading.
“Ectopic pregnancies are not medical death sentences for the preborn,” according to Dr. Patrick Johnston. Ectopic pregnancies are typically what makes the pro-life advocate hide from the debate. The fetus is stuck in the fallopian tubes. If left there, the tubes will most likely burst at the size of a full term baby, causing excessive hemorrhaging (bleeding) for the mother. Therefore, according to those who call for the exception, for the sake of the mother’s life, the child’s life must end. Dr. Johnston, along with 483 doctors, disagrees that an ectopic pregnancy necessitates the killing of a human life.
But can both the mother’s life and child’s life be saved? “The standard of care for ectopical pregnancies is ‘expectant management,’ or watchful waiting, since half of the embryos who implant in their mother’s fallopian tubes perish on their own without medical intervention, and are reabsorbed.” There is more to the story than most think. The question is, what attitude and goal should we bring to the table? Life saving or life taking? In the cases of abdominal pregnancies, intrauterine to intra-abdominal pregnancy, and advanced extrauterine pregnancy, there are success stories. Death is not the only option.
Is pre-eclampsia a death sentence for a baby in order to save the life of the mother?
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that is characterized by an expectant mother who has the presence of protein in urine and high blood pressure. Eclampsia is diagnosed when seizures are involved. In today’s society, it is rare and typically treatable. The only known cure is the birth of the baby and it brings a risk to a mother and health of the baby, but it is not a death sentence.
Dr. Anthony Dardano has stated, “Preeclampsia and eclampsia are serious but treatable conditions at least until the baby can reach an age of reasonable viability and then be delivered. In all my years and thousands of deliveries, I’ve never seen a situation where a direct attack on the fetus is necessary, according to an interview he gave. There have been numerous situations where twenty-two and twenty-three week old babies have survived. There has even been a live birth recorded at twenty-one weeks and four days who has not only survived, but has thrived.
Mothers can take blood pressure medication, corticosteroid medications which improves liver and platelet function, and magnesium sulfate which helps prevents seizures. With all of these measure set in place, there is no reason why a mother cannot hold out until twenty-two weeks.
The American Life League combined with the Dublin Declaration have 1,500 experienced practitioners in maternal health claiming that abortion, the purposeful destruction of an unborn child is “not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.” After contacting the American Life League, I confirmed that their statement included ALL high risk scenarios as mentioned above.
The problem is, we are not truly pro-life. If we desire to be pro-life, maybe there just needs to be some education and a second opinion. We want to ensure with 100% certainty that the mother’s life is not at risk. We want take control when the verdict comes. When we hear, “The mother’s life is at risk and we need to abort the baby (or ‘terminate the pregnancy’),” most pro-life advocates will give exception to the rule. I challenge those who claim to be pro-life and ask, “What is the goal?” Is the goal to save life? If death is the result of attempting to save a life, the Lord in His sovereignty ordained it as such. It is not God’s will that we murder a life.
For Further Discussion:
Aborting Abortion on The Reformed Conservative
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