If Tebow had been aborted, would it have been a case of double effect?

I’m trying to get up to speed on the Tebow ad phenomenon in preparation for pro life evangelizing in the coming weeks.

I just learned that the case of the Tebow pregnancy was apparently one of placental abruption. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placental_abruption

Clearly his mother made a heroic decision.

However, what is Church teaching in a case like this? Is it similar to a tubal ligation in which a child is killed in the process of protecting the mother’s life, and thus in not killed through direct abortion? Would it have been a case of double effect if he had been aborted? Would she have been bound by Catholic teaching to carry the child to term? (I understand that she is not Catholic.)

Sorry, I meant to write “ectopic pregnancy”, not “tubal ligation”.

I’ve been watching The O’Reilly Factor who’s covered this and don’t see why some people are making such a big deal over an innocent commercial. I get the overall controversy of course, but people are judging it before they’ve seen it, ridiculous.

My friend had a mild form of placental aburption during her pregnancy. She made it full term, but she did have to take time off work and have bed rest from about 30 weeks.

The wiki article speaks of it showing up at about 20 weeks. Today foetuses are viable from about 25 weeks, in some places even earlier.

Therefore, there’s really no excuse to kill the child, if it gets really tricky, they can save the woman and the child by performing an early c-section.

To answer the question, yes, the mother’s life can be saved, even if results in the death of the child. It is the Law of Double Effect. I know so little about medicine to day that I do not know how likely such an occurance is and am speaking only in theoretical terms. Ethical questions that are on the edge of current medical knowledge are addressed from a Catholic point of view by the National Catholic Bioethic Center.


Such moral questions can change yearly because of the rapid progress made today.

That’s a good point. Thanks.

Great resource. Thanks. ( that particular link seems broken)

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