Here is an excerpt from the Act. There is a provision in the Act that allows for this, even though most media outlets fail to mention it:
‘‘CHAPTER 74—PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS
‘‘1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited.
‘‘§ 1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited
‘‘(a) Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign
commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby
kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection does not apply
to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of
a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical
illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical
condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. This subsection
takes effect 1 day after the enactment.
‘‘(b) As used in this section—
‘‘(1) the term ‘partial-birth abortion’ means an abortion
in which the person performing the abortion—
‘‘(A) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers
a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation,
the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother,
or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the
fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother,
for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person
knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and
‘‘(B) performs the overt act, other than completion of
delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus; and
‘‘(2) the term ‘physician’ means a doctor of medicine or
osteopathy legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery
by the State in which the doctor performs such activity, or
any other individual legally authorized by the State to perform
abortions: Provided, however, That any individual who is not
a physician or not otherwise legally authorized by the State
to perform abortions, but who nevertheless directly performs
a partial-birth abortion, shall be subject to the provisions of
‘‘©(1) The father, if married to the mother at the time she
receives a partial-birth abortion procedure, and if the mother has
not attained the age of 18 years at the time of the abortion,
the maternal grandparents of the fetus, may in a civil action obtain
appropriate relief, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff’s
criminal conduct or the plaintiff consented to the abortion.
‘‘(2) Such relief shall include—
‘‘(A) money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical,
occasioned by the violation of this section; and
‘‘(B) statutory damages equal to three times the cost of
the partial-birth abortion.
‘‘(d)(1) A defendant accused of an offense under this section
may seek a hearing before the State Medical Board on whether
the physician’s conduct was necessary to save the life of the mother
whose life was endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness,
or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition
caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.‘‘(2) The findings on that issue are admissible on that issue
at the trial of the defendant. Upon a motion of the defendant,
the court shall delay the beginning of the trial for not more than
30 days to permit such a hearing to take place.
‘‘(e) A woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion is performed
may not be prosecuted under this section, for a conspiracy to violate
this section, or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of this
title based on a violation of this section.’’.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of chapters for part I
of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after
the item relating to chapter 73 the following new item:
‘‘74. Partial-birth abortions … 1531’’.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
A link to the full document:
So from a legal standpoint, this can be done.
From a moral standpoint, I have heard both sides of the argument, and I believe that every effort should be made to save both lives. Performing the abortion because it is “believed” that the mother will die is a serious lack of faith in God’s power. None of us can truly guarantee a result of death.