Part 3 of 4: Is It Alright—if the Mother’s Life is in Danger?

Is It Alright—if the Mother’s Life is in Danger?

Let’s look at the second scenario. When a woman is pregnant, her health and her life may, at times, be put at risk. Complications might arise, or medical treatment has to be stopped during the pregnancy. Pre-existing conditions sometimes turn into life-threatening situations. When things go wrong, a choice may present itself.

If the mother is to be saved, the baby may have to go. But if the baby has to stay, then the mother will possibly die, leaving the husband a widower and the baby—and any other children they may have—without a mother. Therefore, it would appear to be better if the baby was sacrificed, so that the woman is given a chance to live and be a wife and mother to her other children.

So, what do the experts say?

​With the vast advances in medicine in today’s world, medical professionals say that there are never any conditions arising in pregnancy that can only be treated by performing an abortion. In fact, former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr C. Everett Koop, said:

 “The life-of-the-mother argument surfaces in every debate concerning abortion. The fact of the matter is that abortion as a necessity to save the life of the mother is so rare as to be non-existent.”

These medical experts emphasise that there is a fundamental distinction between an abortion, which is the direct termination of the baby’s life, and any other procedures or treatments they may need to resort to in an attempt to save the life of the mother. In the latter scenario, they will still do their utmost to save the baby’s life as well. If they are not successful, it is not an abortion, but a consequence of their attempt to save both lives.

“Abortion is never medically necessary.”

The above statement was a declaration by 30,000 medical doctors from the American College of Pediatricians, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other medical groups. They claim that pregnancy should not be treated as a disease, and abortion is definitely not healthcare because it takes away a human life.

It is very uncommon that a woman’s health or life is put in danger in the late stages of her pregnancy. However, if there is an amount of risk, abortion is never the solution. In fact, late-term abortions can take days to carry out, and they bring their own complications, risking the mother’s life even further.

In a letter signed by these doctors, they state:

After 20 weeks fertilisation 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 no 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 (labour 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.”

Some may still argue otherwise—but not mothers!

Countless mothers around the world refused to have abortions in spite of critical health risks. Some willingly gave up their lives for the innocent babies they were carrying. Why? Because that’s what a mother does for her child, whether it has been born or not!

Two months into her pregnancy, Brit Cheryl Anderson, 32 years old at the time, received a devastating cancer diagnosis. She knew that she would not be able to receive chemotherapy without endangering her baby’s life. Nevertheless, Cheryl refused to have an abortion. In fact, so as not to risk any harm to her unborn daughter, she merely resorted to paracetamol to relieve the crippling pain she was enduring.

Cheryl bravely struggled on, knowing that, the longer her baby was in the womb, the higher her chances of survival. At six months pregnancy, doctors performed an emergency Caesarean. Cheryl came around just in time to hear that her daughter Taylor had survived—and sadly, just hours after the birth, she passed away.

29-year-old Donna Hewetson was told that the baby in her womb was gradually killing her.

The shocking news from doctors revealed to the young mother that her pregnancy had triggered a life-threatening condition. The resulting hormones were producing large tumours in her vital organs. She also suffered a ruptured kidney and collapsed lungs. The medics urged Donna to have an abortion to preserve her life.

She refused, claiming, “My maternal instinct was too strong to even contemplate a termination.” At 28 weeks, baby Lily was born by C-section, amazing the doctors by being fully healthy. Donna then began receiving treatment and, despite her uncertain long-term prognosis, she was glad she had never given up on her baby.

When her cancer returned, Elizabeth Joice also rejected abortion for her baby, even if it meant she could not receive cancer treatment. Having previously faced the possibility of infertility, the tumours in her body did not deter her, and she bravely continued with the pregnancy. She did not want to lose her chance of bringing a child into the world.

Despite having surgery, the tumour returned, but at 34 weeks, baby Lily was by then big enough to be born safely. Sadly, the doctors then discovered that Elizabeth’s body had been overrun by more tumours, and it was too late for treatment. Merely seven weeks after Lily’s birth, her mother slipped out of this world, having given up her life for her daughter.

This is indeed the pure love of a mother!

These stories are truly heartbreaking, but they reflect the natural maternal instincts which inspired these women to a truly selfless response to the threats they were facing. Regardless of the fact that their children were still in the womb, these and many other brave mothers gladly risked—and even gave up—their lives in order to give their unborn babies a chance to live.

It is true that the situation might be a little different for a woman or girl facing a pregnancy she does not want or expect. However, abortion can be avoided, because medical professionals can and do offer alternative treatments that safeguard both the lives of the mother and the baby. They may not always succeed in saving them both—but, at least, they would have tried!

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