Morality of Abortion to Save Mother's Life?

This is a red herring, a logical fallacy. Even when abortion was illegal, doctors and mother’s were not thrown in jail for losing the baby while trying to legitimately save the mother and child. Only a direct abortion would be illegal, and dismembering the baby is never a treatment to save a mother’s life. It is also a fallacy that women were jailed. Doctor’s could be jailed or fined for procured abortions, not legitimate medical procedures that resulted in the unintended death of the child.

Red herring.

But it didn’t happen. This is all a made up story of what “might” happen in someone’s head, someone who doesn’t understand actual medical intervention in a life-threatening situation. Someone who just wants to put out red herrings, no matter how fanciful.

Because it is propaganda.

I can suggest Randy Alcorn’s book on Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments

No Mark, they aren’t. If they were they would agree that we cannot kill the baby** at all**.

They are only seeing this if they choose to stay in ignorance and propaganda-land instead of reality where medical professionals who pro-life can tell you how situations are handled without the dismembering of babies.

You’ve really bought in to the lies. Again, even when abortion was illegal in all 50 states, no such laws existed.

I

There are literally hundreds of threads here on this topic so that itself refutes the idea that no one wants to talk about it. American Life League, Priests for Life, Feminists for Life, and many other organizations also have information/blogs/posts/threads/pamphlets etc on this topic.

You have really bought the lie if you think pro-life people somehow don’t want to talk about this or that it somehow weakens a pro-life position.

I really suggest that you read Randy’s book, and engage in conversation with a pro-life OB/GYN who can explain to you that these scenarios simply do not exist.

The pro life position is that we cannot kill babies.

The doctor has two patients. It is incumbent upon the doctor to try to save both patients. If ,in the course of a legitimate medical procedure, the child is unable to be saved but it is not directly killed on purpose (even if foreseen) this would **not **be a direct abortion.

See the Principle of Double Effect for more.

A couple of thoughts:

-There are 2 patients deserving of care.

  • What if it was not mother and child, but two Siamese twins suffering a condition that threatened them both. A ‘treatment’ option might be to kill one, as this would end the threat to the other. How would we approach that morally?

In the case where the mother’s life is in danger, the best thing to do would be to try to deliver the baby early without dismembering it. If the babies dies afterwards at least it would not be murder. That’s what I’ve realized recently.

Mark, I wanted to add:

We must carefully examine the argument presented before we jump to defend against it. Most arguments these days are based on logical fallacies. Why should I refute an argument that is illogical, nonsensical, or otherwise flawed?

Spend your time helping people see the flaws in their logic (difficult since today’s education system doesn’t teach people to think critically). The age of twitter and campaign slogans – quick, snappy sound bites-- have dulled people’s ability to think logically and break down. It also helps to be a student of history, which again in today’s age most people just believe what they read online or see on TV.

You have to break down the argument and show it for the mess it really is.

Randy’s book is great for that.

Yeah I think some perspective is important. Abortions supposedly performed for even just the health of the mother are a tiny percentage of abortions performed. That’s not even narrowing it down to abortions to save the life of the mother. Same thing applies to pregnancies due to rape. They make up a very small number of the abortions performed. So when pro-choice advocates throw these out as examples why abortion on demand should be legal are really being disingenuous. It would be like arguing for outlawing hamburgers because a handful of people choke on one every year.

Necessity is not a defense to murder.

I posted this link a while back from Prolife OB/GYN, which is a Christian, but not necessarily Catholic group.

The US Bishops and Catholic hospitals have slightly more conservative ethical guidelines, that potentially rule out inducing live delivery before the point of viability; however the basic point is that there is never a need to KILL a child to save the mother’s life. An aggressive but ethical treatment might still indirectly cause the death of a child, however this in not the intent. :signofcross:

I appreciate the responses, but I must say that I haven’t “bought into the lies,” because I don’t automatically perceive most ordinary pro-choice people on this issue are purposefully “lying” because they secretly love abortion and are trying cover up a simple bloodlust, or something. I assume instead that they at least genuinely believe what they believe because I do try to assume the best about people until they prove to me otherwise. I think all this caricaturing of the pro-choice side as these unthinking abortion-hungry monsters is uncharitable and divisive. However, it’s true that people’s genuinely held beliefs are often ill-formed, so in that case proper formation is necessary.

Having said that, I think the logic as you’ve all articulated it is pretty morally sound when it comes to the difference between “direct vs. indirect” abortions (as the world understands the term)… but when we come out with our own “twitter-like” sloganeering saying “make all abortion illegal” … people assume we mean ALL “abortion” or “all procedures that result in the death of the child”, whether direct OR indirect (whether willed as a means or an ends or not willed at all), because we don’t specify this in our posters and in our speeches or basically anywhere besides where it can be found perhaps buried in various books on the subject. We too are guilty of simplifying things to fit them on posters, and people therefore call out the logic of making “all abortion” (or “all procedures that result in the death of babies)” illegal, when in reality that’s not what we’re saying. It’s how it ends up being read, because we don’t openly specify what we mean by “all abortion.” People assume the worst about us just like many pro-life people assume the worst about pro-choice people. I can’t help but recall Matthew 7:2 had something to say on this very phenomenon.

The problem with someone who is pro-abortion is that they think the baby is a blob of tissue. Without addressing this issue, it’s pretty hard to make any head way at all.

It’s very odd to me that the people who hold up science as a god to serve cannot seem to understand that a pregnant woman is carrying a baby with it’s own unique dna and without doing the baby harm, will continue to grow. It’s not a potential human being, it IS a human being that is growing and alive.

How did we come to the point that when a pregnant woman is in distress that it’s helping her to kill her baby?

I often make this case with these types… From a scientific perspective, what “quality of the air outside the womb” magically bestows personhood unto a “blob of cells”? They have no answer for such a thing.

As a Seinfeld watcher… “What gives you the right to tell me how to make my pie?” “Because it’s a pizza!” “It’s not a pizza until it comes out of the oven!” “It’s a pizza the moment you put your fists in the dough!” :smiley:

By all means, give individuals the benefit of any doubt. But be aware that the vast majority of abortions are pursued in the absence of any grave threat to the mother’s life. The most common rationale offered for the “right to abortion” is not that it is the right to “save my life”, but rather, “it’s a woman’s body and she has the right to choose”. Now those arguing this position may not be “lying”, but they are clearly not on-board with catholic moral theology which demands that human life may not be voluntarily and deliberately taken.

Having said that, I think the logic as you’ve all articulated it is pretty morally sound when it comes to the difference between “direct vs. indirect” abortions (as the world understands the term)… but when we come out with our own “twitter-like” sloganeering saying “make all abortion illegal” … people assume we mean ALL “abortion” or “all procedures that result in the death of the child”, whether direct OR indirect (whether willed as a means or an ends or not willed at all), because we don’t specify this in our posters and in our speeches or basically anywhere besides where it can be found perhaps buried in various books on the subject. We too are guilty of simplifying things to fit them on posters, and people therefore call out the logic of making “all abortion” (or “all procedures that result in the death of babies)” illegal, when in reality that’s not what we’re saying. It’s how it ends up being read, because we don’t openly specify what we mean by “all abortion.” People assume the worst about us just like many pro-life people assume the worst about pro-choice people. I can’t help but recall Matthew 7:2 had something to say on this very phenomenon.

The expression “indirect abortion” is an oxymoron. It is like “unintentional” murder - which makes no sense given murder is itself an intentional killing. But your point about communicating clearly is valid. Our Catholoc position is simply to oppose procedures that set out to intentionally kill the baby. But make no mistake, the subtleties are not quickly grasped.

Perhaps a humanist viewpoint is that until the baby has a level of sentience / self-awareness, or is able to experience pain, it is not human as they understand it. I am speculating, but they must draw a distinction between we on the outside of the womb and those recently conceived.

Hello Mark.

I’m coming late to your discussion. I’m finding the following problematic, but since you are a newer Catholic, I can understand your confusion.

“The point is, some of these “pro-choice” people aren’t pro-choice because they “love abortion” (and I agree that’s sick), they’re pro-choice because they’re actually “pro-life at heart” and just see a “one size fits all” government-imposed medical outcome as being part of a “culture of death” itself (they just don’t use those words). In fact, I’d say a good many of them are pro-choice only because they’re actually expressing “pro-life” views towards the health and safety of certain women (and girls) who simply can’t medically carry a child (lest they will die), and who would be mercilessly thrown under the bus by laws that would charge them for “murder” as a result trying to save their own lives (and especially when it concerns those who were victims of terrible crimes themselves).”

You cannot be pro-abortion/ pro-choice as you’ve worded it, and be “pro-life at heart.” Please do not give the pro abortion persons credit for what they don’t have. It is a very clearly defined edge. You either think murder is murder in all instances or it isn’t. Medical murder is still medical murder. There is nothing healthy about giving a woman an abortion. The procedure itself can be life-threatening and can and does sometimes cause death of both infant and mother. Telling women it is healthy is pure poppycock. So is telling them Planned Parenthood’s abortion mill is “safe.” It is safer than the back-alley wacko with a coat hanger, but not by much. It is 100% un-safe for an infant in utero!

Now, prior to Roe v Wade and the others that gave women abortion on demand in 50 States, those in the medical professions that dealt with pregnancy in all stages did handle at risk women in many efficient ways and doctors and women weren’t prosecuted for infanticides that were bona fide medical interventions on behalf of both patients, the mother and the child. Those prosecuted for committing infanticide via abortion were the back alley butchers who catered to the prostitution industry and those who pregnancies needed fixing. Only women who assisted in the actual abortions or who self-aborted were prosecuted and jailed. If abortion were to be restored to it’s original illegal state, then once again the States would need to prosecute those whose business is killing children. The women who need medical assistance in high risk pregnancies would once again have that same assistance and yes, tragic occasions in which a true medical emergency occurs which results in the death of an infant not born will happen and no they won’t be prosecuted for infanticide. They never were by mistake. Your views about the pro-aborts secretly being pro-life aren’t realistic. Pure propaganda geared towards giving an acceptable wrapper to a unacceptable package kinda like perfuming a sewer and expecting others to enjoy the sweeter smell. Not!

Glenda

Hello Mark.

Here is another of your statements I find distressing: “because we don’t openly specify what we mean by “all abortion.” People assume the worst about us just like many pro-life people assume the worst about pro-choice people.”

So, you are a pro-choice Catholic. Why not simply say so. The Scripture you use to defend a pro-choice position won’t change Jesus’ Commandment number 5, “Thou shalt not kill.” Get off the fence. Murder is wrong. It is against God’s law and when it happens to an innocent little baby in the womb who just wants to be born and loved and nurtured, it is all the more tragic and evil. Adoption is the option for those whose sex-life presents them with an untimely pregnancy.

Glenda

From my own following of the issue, I have heard a small subset of people who do promote the ‘sentience = personhood’ theory, and that a person isn’t a person for several months or years after birth. I’m pretty sure they are on the fringe though; sorry I don’t have any specific examples.

For the most part I think it’s more like “the fetus is inside the mother, so it is the mother; When it’s outside the mother it is not the mother”, which is overly simplistic, I know, but that really sounds like the basis of the argument.

Also, some argue that abortion rights have nothing to do with “personhood” so much as it has to do with the effects on the mothers’ body. Some people view it as Assault and the mother has the right to use whatever means to end the Assault, especially when that Assault becomes deadly. It doesn’t even cross their mind to try and save the baby, because it has become an aggressor in their eyes, it’s all or nothing. :frowning:

I’m not. I’m simply trying to be respectful of people. Everyone is capable of lies and distortion, whether pro-choice or pro-life, unless you’ve forgotten. I give credit to people who genuinely care about life. I don’t give credit to people who have to resort to word-battles and rhetorical caricatures of the other side in order to try to get in jabs and win points, regardless of what side they’re on. Someone can be on the morally right side and still have a morally bankrupt way of arguing for it that ends up doing more harm than good for the cause. That’s what I see people doing and I’m sick of it.

Firstly, I didn’t use that verse to justify abortion, I used it to justify not demonizing people, especially if we (the pro-life side) don’t want to be demonized in return. I’m just so sick of all the backhanded demonizing of “the other” that comes from both sides of this debate. Pro-choice call us monsters. We call them monsters. They call us heartless, thoughtless conniving liars and what do we do? The same thing back. We call them heartless, thoughtless conniving liars. I’m just sick of it. Secondly, I’m not pro-choice and nothing I’ve said would even give that impression. I would ask you at this point to please refrain from jumping to all these conclusions. All I did was ask a question about what the Catholic position was when the mother’s life is at risk.

Ok, now that you know, do you feel heartless? Do you feel like a monster? A conniving liar? Me neither!!

Me neither. :thumbsup:

Did you know that the percentage of abortions due to rape in the US is only 1%? The rape argument is a big red herring. They use rape to justify something that in 99% of cases is done for something other than rape. Let’s talk first about the 99% and when we are all set with the 99% then we can talk about the rest.

On the same manner, under current techlonogies and with the current medical knowledge and advantage, the real situations in which you actually have to about a baby to save a mother’s life are very few and rare. Ectopic pregnancies may the the only left in which case the church allows the removal of the fallopian tube to save the mother’s life. Outside of that and maybe a couple of more odd and infrequent cases the vast majority of abortions are done for reason different to rape and the mother’s health. So again big red herring.

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