If I was pregnant and I was told that if I did not have an abortion I would die, what should I do?


#1

Let's say that I became pregnant (I'm not) and the pregnancy was an ectopic one, but was advanced before it was noticed, or some other circumstance where the continuation of the pregnancy would either kill me or seriously disable/harm me.

Would the Church expect me to continue on in the pregnancy? Would it make a difference if the baby's survival rate was also 0?

I think I would struggle to believe in a Church that would place the possibility of the child living (if we assume the child might live but I would certainly die) higher than my definate survival.


#2

The Church allows for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.

These can be treated by surgery to remove the damaged tube. It would not be considered a direct abortion.


#3

In these cases you need to look at the direct action in the medical procedure. If there is nothing inherently wrong with the DIRECT ACTION and the INDIRECT OUTCOME is that the baby dies, then there is no sin. However, if the DIRECT ACTION is the killing of the child, you cannot do it. For example:

In a case where a pregnant woman is found to have uterine cancer and the only way to save her is to remove the uterus (thereby killing the baby) it is not wrong for her to have the hysterectomy.

If the only way to save the woman is to have a DIRECT ABORTION (the only thing removed is the baby) then it is wrong.

It's determined by intention here. If the intention is to remove the baby then it is wrong. If the intention is to remove a part of the mother's body that is harming her, and the indirect cause is the death of the baby then it is morally acceptable.

I'm not well-versed in the methods of dealing with ectopic pregnancies, but if say the whole fallopian tube was removed then it would be morally acceptable.

Other posters that are going to say that all I have said is wrong, please note that I am a Catholic Theology student and I have discussed this topic in multiple classes with various teachers (from theologians to priests) and they have all come to the same conclusion, the one I have stated above.


#4

Catholic Answers has some info on this:

catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0609uan.asp


#5

I know a woman this happened to (not an ectopic pregnancy, but a very high risk one)... her doctors YELLED at her to abort the baby and literally said "I take no responsibility for your actions"... her husband kissed her "good-bye" as she went into labor. When the baby was born, his father baptized him at the hospital, fearing he wouldn't survive...

My MIL is still alive and well - 77 years old now... and my husband hasn't killed her... yet. ;) :p


#6

[quote="AdriannaJean, post:3, topic:219889"]
In these cases you need to look at the direct action in the medical procedure. If there is nothing inherently wrong with the DIRECT ACTION and the INDIRECT OUTCOME is that the baby dies, then there is no sin. However, if the DIRECT ACTION is the killing of the child, you cannot do it. For example:

In a case where a pregnant woman is found to have uterine cancer and the only way to save her is to remove the uterus (thereby killing the baby) it is not wrong for her to have the hysterectomy.

If the only way to save the woman is to have a DIRECT ABORTION (the only thing removed is the baby) then it is wrong.

It's determined by intention here. If the intention is to remove the baby then it is wrong. If the intention is to remove a part of the mother's body that is harming her, and the indirect cause is the death of the baby then it is morally acceptable.

I'm not well-versed in the methods of dealing with ectopic pregnancies, but if say the whole fallopian tube was removed then it would be morally acceptable.

Other posters that are going to say that all I have said is wrong, please note that I am a Catholic Theology student and I have discussed this topic in multiple classes with various teachers (from theologians to priests) and they have all come to the same conclusion, the one I have stated above.

[/quote]

Actually you did a good job. I'd give you an A.


#7

[quote="Mary_Gail_36, post:6, topic:219889"]
Actually you did a good job. I'd give you an A.

[/quote]

Agree... :thumbsup:


#8

Fallapian tubes containing an ectopic pregnancy are removed.


#9

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
Let's say that I became pregnant (I'm not) and the pregnancy was an ectopic one, but was advanced before it was noticed, or some other circumstance where the continuation of the pregnancy would either kill me or seriously disable/harm me.

Would the Church expect me to continue on in the pregnancy? Would it make a difference if the baby's survival rate was also 0?

I think I would struggle to believe in a Church that would place the possibility of the child living (if we assume the child might live but I would certainly die) higher than my definate survival.

[/quote]

St. Gianna took the risk that her cancer would be too far advanced for treatment by the time her baby was viable. As it turned out, this was so - when she gave birth to the baby, it was too late for treatment.

If she had accepted treatment, it would have certainly killed her baby - she would have lived, but she would never have known for certain what would have happened if she had tried to save her baby.

She is a Saint today, not because she took a path of certain death, but because she chose to take the risk of allowing her child to live. She lost - but she is in Heaven. If she had killed the baby, she would still be alive today - in the knowledge that she had killed her own child.

Her child attended her canonization ceremony, and received a blessing from the Pope. :)

I think that if you were to find yourself in such a situation, you would need to get as much information as possible about what all of your options are, and not only the physical consequences of each choice, but also the spiritual and moral consequences of each choice. Even if we are cured of every illness, we can't live on the earth forever - eventually, we die and face the eternal consequences of our choices.


#10

In the case of other difficult and heartbreaking pregnancy issues, read up on these sites for some good info:

www.elizabethministry.com

and www.BeNotAfraid.net

There is also of course Project Rachel for post-abortive healing if needed.

And the first thing to do always - :gopray:


#11

If the child is going to survive while you die, then keep the baby.
what is more important to you.

your childs life or your own life?

if somebody shot a bullet at you, would you dodge the bullet for your kid or throw your kid in front of it to save your life?

Its sorta like that. You give up your life for your child if you need to. thats part of being a parent.

Now if you're both going to die, then i'd save your life. Because if the baby is going to die eitherway, then it would only be logical to save your life.


#12

get a second opinion preferably from a doctor who knows his job which is to do his utmost to save both of his patients, the mother and the baby. A doctor who is not dedicated to this policy has no business practicing medicine. btw surgical abortion is not the preferred treatment for ectopic pregnancy. If this occurs you should also get a doctor who educates you on this specific problem.


#13

[quote="jmcrae, post:9, topic:219889"]
St. Gianna took the risk that her cancer would be too far advanced for treatment by the time her baby was viable. As it turned out, this was so - when she gave birth to the baby, it was too late for treatment.

If she had accepted treatment, it would have certainly killed her baby - she would have lived, but she would never have known for certain what would have happened if she had tried to save her baby.

She is a Saint today, not because she took a path of certain death, but because she chose to take the risk of allowing her child to live. She lost - but she is in Heaven. If she had killed the baby, she would still be alive today - in the knowledge that she had killed her own child.

Her child attended her canonization ceremony, and received a blessing from the Pope. :)

I think that if you were to find yourself in such a situation, you would need to get as much information as possible about what all of your options are, and not only the physical consequences of each choice, but also the spiritual and moral consequences of each choice. Even if we are cured of every illness, we can't live on the earth forever - eventually, we die and face the eternal consequences of our choices.

[/quote]

Because the story of St. Gianna is so uplifting, I think it is important that we get the facts correct:

1) She did not have cancer, but a benign uterine fibroma (fairly common.)

2) She did, indeed, reject the suggested abortion; however, she did agree to surgery to remove the fibroma, which was performed when she was about 2 months pregnant.

3) She did insist towards the end of her pregnancy that - were it to come to a choice - the baby's life was to be saved. The baby was born healthy.

4) It was an infection (peritonitis) that killed her a week after the baby was born - not cancer. She would likely have been saved by today's antibiotics, unavailable to her then.

wf-f.org/StGianna.html


#14

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
I think I would struggle to believe in a Church that would place the possibility of the child living (if we assume the child might live but I would certainly die) higher than my definate survival.

[/quote]

To our Church, all life is sacred, which is why killing an innocent person to save the life of another is never permitted (the ends don't justify the means). I would die for any of my children, regardless of how old they are, born or preborn. And if both of us were in danger, I could not save myself knowing that the price I would pay would be killing my baby.

If there were a situation that arose, where it was determined that both of us would have a definite 100% chance of dying unless an abortion was performed (I know of no such scenario, but it could very well exist), then God would be taking both of us from this world. I refuse to murder a child, and as a mother, I take the small risk that I may die in pregnancy or birth with each baby I have.

Would I be scared? Absolutely. Would I be angry at the situation? Probably. Would I beg for miracles? You bet. Would I be sad that I was leaving behind other children and a husband? Yes. But nothing EVER makes it okay to abort a baby.


#15

[quote="dixieagle, post:13, topic:219889"]
Because the story of St. Gianna is so uplifting, I think it is important that we get the facts correct:

1) She did not have cancer, but a benign uterine fibroma (fairly common.)

2) She did, indeed, reject the suggested abortion; however, she did agree to surgery to remove the fibroma, which was performed when she was about 2 months pregnant.

3) She did insist towards the end of her pregnancy that - were it to come to a choice - the baby's life was to be saved. The baby was born healthy.

4) It was an infection (peritonitis) that killed her a week after the baby was born - not cancer. She would likely have been saved by today's antibiotics, unavailable to her then.

wf-f.org/StGianna.html

[/quote]

Thanks! :)


#16

The Church doesnt allow the termination of the pregnancy. The Church allows you to remove the fallopian tube and the death of the baby is a secondary and very unwanted act.

As someone who went thru this and didnt know until it was too late, I had no choice either way but I think my baby died when my tube ruptured, or so I like to think. I did nothing wrong. I was bleeding internally and almost didnt make it out. The er drs removed my tube to control the bleeding and there went my beautiful baby. :crying: but I have a clean conscience even though I still felt as if I had an abortion for months :crying:

An ectopic pregnancy almost always doesnt make it. It is very rare for both baby and mother to survive. It's usually only the mother that does if caught on time. If I would've waited an hr longer, I wouldn't be here to share my story.


#17

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
Let's say that I became pregnant (I'm not) and the pregnancy was an ectopic one, but was advanced before it was noticed, or some other circumstance where the continuation of the pregnancy would either kill me or seriously disable/harm me.

[/quote]

Abortion is not a legitimate medical treatment for any condition.

You could be treated for your condition. You could not have an abortion.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
Would the Church expect me to continue on in the pregnancy?

[/quote]

The Church would expect you not to kill your baby.

The Church has no problem with you receiving legitimate medical care that seeks to save both you and your child. If the child dies during or as a result of the treatment, that is not an abortion. Both you and your child are patients. The doctor cannot always save every patient. If the result is forseen but not the intended result, it can be tolerated under the principle of double effect.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
Would it make a difference if the baby's survival rate was also 0?

[/quote]

No.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
I think I would struggle to believe in a Church that would place the possibility of the child living (if we assume the child might live but I would certainly die) higher than my definate survival.

[/quote]

We may never do evil, even when our intention is perceived as good. Killing a child is always a moral evil.

You can receive legitimate medical treatment for whatever medical condition you have.


#18

I read somewhere that only 3% of the cases where the doctors advise you to abort the child (other than ectopic pregnancies of course, where it is necessary to remove the tube and the abortion is an unwanted result), is it really that life-threatening where you would need to make that decision to abort or not.

It's just that the pregnancy is high-risk and they don't want to get sued, don't want that blemish on their record, or the negative publicity that will surely follow from the case being on the news.

Get a second opinion, maybe try a Catholic hospital or something. Talk to a doctor who shares your values for human life and see if it's really necessary to do that. If you can't find a Catholic doctor, ask a Priest.

Remember, every effort needs to be made to save BOTH lives. This might mean extra monitoring, bed rest, or even longer stay in the hospital. But to save a life is worth it. :thumbsup:


#19

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:219889"]
Let's say that I became pregnant (I'm not) and the pregnancy was an ectopic one, but was advanced before it was noticed, or some other circumstance where the continuation of the pregnancy would either kill me or seriously disable/harm me.

Would the Church expect me to continue on in the pregnancy? Would it make a difference if the baby's survival rate was also 0?

I think I would struggle to believe in a Church that would place the possibility of the child living (if we assume the child might live but I would certainly die) higher than my definate survival.

[/quote]

I find hypothetical questions to be the devil's delight. Does he already have you questioning your conversion?

Some simple, but absolutely serious questions which you might want to ponder:

Do you trust God?
Do you believe that God established one Church to lead and guide you?
Do you believe that heaven is to be preferred to earth?
Do you believe that God is capable of taking care of your loved ones - even without you?

These are not facetious questions, but are meant to provoke thought.


#20

[quote="BlueShadow123, post:11, topic:219889"]
If the child is going to survive while you die, then keep the baby.
what is more important to you.

your childs life or your own life?

if somebody shot a bullet at you, would you dodge the bullet for your kid or throw your kid in front of it to save your life?

Its sorta like that. You give up your life for your child if you need to. thats part of being a parent.

Now if you're both going to die, then i'd save your life. Because if the baby is going to die eitherway, then it would only be logical to save your life.

[/quote]

What if the woman did not want to die for the child? You may think that that will never happen, but honestly what if it did?

Would that make her a bad person? What if she had other children or ill parents etc to take care of?

I would like to know what people think of a woman who chooses her life instead of the baby's, would you all really her selfish?


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