Conflicting claims: Inducing to save woman’s life same as abortion?

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Did doctors in a country that bans abortion under any circumstances manage to terminate the pregnancy without violating the law?…

On Monday, doctors removed Beatriz’s fetus — which had a severe defect that prevented the brain from developing — through an incision in her abdomen….

Yet the procedure was not an abortion, the health minister said, because the fetus was delivered, placed in an incubator and provided fluids. It lived for five hours.

One Salvadoran anti-abortion group called the outcome a victory, describing the procedure as an induced birth in which the baby died of natural causes. Some abortion-rights advocates welcomed the outcome, too, saying it showed that El Salvador’s ironclad restriction did not have to imperil women with dangerous pregnancies, even when the fetus had little or no chance of surviving.

“It is an abortion,” said Alejandra Cárdenas, legal adviser for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “They are interrupting an unviable pregnancy.”…

Motivation has become a determining factor in distinguishing abortions from early deliveries, some doctors say.

“An abortion is done with the intent of killing the baby,” said José Miguel Fortín Magaña, director of the Institute of Legal Medicine, which evaluates medical issues for the nation’s highest court. “An induction is done with the intent of saving the mother.”

~ Karla Zabludovsky, reporting on the early delivery of a child in a high-risk pregnancy in El Salvador, The New York Times, June 4

[Photo via rawstory.com; sign translated: “Beatriz has a right to live. Respect sexual and reproductive rights.”]

31 thoughts on “Conflicting claims: Inducing to save woman’s life same as abortion?”

  1. I’m not completely clear on this. I know ectopic pregnancy is one procedure that must be performed to save the life of the mother. Not sure if this was done to save her life though.

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  2. They’re deliberately trying to muddy the water and I think they should be heartily ashamed of themselves.

    By their “logic” — I hesitate to call it that — what distinguishes between an emergency C-section and a hysterotomy abortion, or I suppose between induced labor and an induction abortion, isn’t whether or not you’re trying to save the baby, but whether or not the baby actually survives.

    That means that regardless of intent, Gianna Jessen wasn’t aborted but was simply delivered prematurely through an unorthodox method of inducing labor.

    That also means that regardless of intent, if a woman suffers a health crisis and doctors perform a cesarean incision and remove the baby, we won’t know if it was a hysterotomy abortion or an emergency C-section until we see how long the baby lives.

    And what a kick in the teeth is it to mothers with health issues, whose babies died after emergency C-sections, for those ghouls to be telling them now that they were signing the paperwork for abortions, and not for having their babies delivered alive?

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  3. I was delivered by C-section as were both my younger brothers.  A C-section is NOT an abortion.  It is done because there is a problem in the pregnancy and is an attempt to save the lives of everyone.
    It doesn’t always succeed but that fact doesn’t make it an abortion.
    My mom was treated one time for an ectopic pregnancy in a fallopian tube. This shouldn’t be considered an abortion as the embryo has NO chance of survival and must be removed from the tube.  It is an ectopic pregnancy treatment.

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  4. Well, what do you expect from the type of people who can’t even tell the difference between a miscarriage and an abortion? 

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  5. Carla, there is much love for that sweet little baby, who is no longer the least of these. God is good.

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  6. Let us remember that “abortion” is a euphemism.  It means to abort (“cease continuation of”) a pregnancy.
     
    Abortion is really feticide — the intentional murder of a pre-born human child.
     
    The Caesarean Section was developed as a life-saving procedure.  It has saved the lives of countless mothers and children who would otherwise have been lost in situations of birth-distress.  (Contrast with intentional abortion, which is never necessary as a life-saving procedure, and nearly always results in at least one death.)
     
    However, if one truly wants a dead baby… then the unnecessary delivery of a premature child by C-section is just as effective as any other abortion method.

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  7. This is ridiculous. It is hardly uncommon for a fetal anomaly to be misdiagnosed in utero; an early delivery (vaginally or via C-section) of a baby believed to be non-viable, followed by medical attention being administered to the baby, is not even close to being in the same ballpark as an abortion. Mother and child were treated with respect.
    The implication that any “interruption” of a pregnancy is an abortion is nonsense. I was induced at 38 weeks due to worries about preeclampsia. Was my baby aborted? On the contrary, she’s a gorgeous, happy, healthy eight-month old. We can’t let anyone muddy the issue.

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  8. I’ve heard of this case before. “Beatriz” suffers from lupus, and her unborn baby was diagnosed with anencephaly–missing part of his/her skull and brain. These babies typically die within hours of birth (although I think there have been a few cases where a child like this lived several months). The combination of “mother’s health” and “fetal deformity” was used to put pressure on this pro-life country to change their laws, and it appears they found a way around the law.
    Lupus, if well-managed, is not a life-threatening condition for a pregnant woman (but who knows what kind of treatment she had available to her in El Salvador)–from a quick google search, her worst risks were hypertension, premature delivery, and need for a c-section.
    Ah well. I take comfort in knowing this baby was given the dignity of being born and having proper care until he/she passed naturally.

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  9. IF intent is the matter at hand and C secition is not abortion. Would prolifers be opposed to letting women who seek abortions have C secitions, where the baby would probably die but the intent would be to remove it?
     
    Elsa

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  10. Beatriz was a tool to be used so that other unborn children could be legally killed, much like Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano were merely tools, instruments for “the greater good.” Were she to change her mind and hope to make it to birth, many of the pro-abortion activists I believe would disappear with no more opportunity for a change in the law. Much like when a woman leaves a Planned Parenthood before an abortion, we know the pregnancy center she goes to will be there for her, not the abortionist. The philosophy of abortion tells us the value of a human being is merely dependent on the value others place on them. Del is right, technically a c-section is aborting a pregnancy, what matters is the intent: a baby with a chance of life or a woman who thinks she has a right to a dead baby. Is a baby a human being, or an instrument of pleasure, to be tossed aside when we are no longer amused. I hope El Salvador and other countries like Ireland don’t buckle and join us in a body count numbering at least in the tens of millions.

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  11. Not enough information on the baby’s condition. Yes, children with anencephaly can live after delivery. And no, physicians cannot tell whether a particular child will be one to die in utero, die at one hour post-delivery, one week, one month, or one year.
    Searching the web for ‘longest living anencephaly” brings up several cases of children living beyond one year, beoynd 2 yrs. I believe I saw a report within the recent year of a case where a child lived for 3 years with anencephaly.
    The predominant view in the medical field is eugenics: abort babies with birth defects. There is a long, definitive history of the arguments for this practice frmo a societal point of view: the person will nevre live a productive life, they will consume a lot of healthcare, etc.
    Because physicians know better than to tell that directly to a mother, they have to use different rhetoric. So, they talk about ‘quality of life.’
    This is the exact same approach used to encourage women to abort a child once Down Syndrome is detected, or Cystic Fibrosis is detected.
    The truth is that among us evryday people, we know people with Down Syndrome, or with CF, who are living or who have lived wonderful lives.
    Some with Down S or CF do have great misery. Likely, none live to avg life expectancy as noted in Ecclesiastes (3 score and ten), or to the max life expectancy documented/noted in Genesis (120 years). But misery is a part of life.
    We don’t kill others because they have a miserable life and use a lot of healthcare resources, and have no likely producitive future ahead.
    We kill others for a few reasons acceptable to some or most: self-defense, war, euthanasia under certain guidelines, death-penalty after due process. This is called “democide:” legitimate reasons for killing or otherwise directly bringing about the death of another.
    These examples are utterly different form the killing, or directly contributing to the death of, a child not yet born.
    This view has just been worked into the views of the medical establishment over decades.
    We can handle medical care for these human beings. if they are never “productive,” we can sustain them. This is being humane.
    Many people say, “All religions essentially say the same thing, so what does it matter if I am not a Christian? I believe the same things.”
    No you don’t. You don’t believe in the sanctity of life, and you don’t believe in supporting life, and letting mother nature/God take his or her course, as we recognize with all of our lives.
    We monitor the terminally ill, and right when they die, we remove organs. For the unborn with terminal illnesses, a similar approach is totally possible: monitor the baby, and remove the baby quickly once it has died – so that sepsis etc. is avoided for the mother. 
    In the meantime, allow the mother, and family, to have the best life they can with their child. And then somehow have a proper observance for the deceased.
    We do this for many people. Extending it to the not-yet-born is not a big deal.
    Right now, we are willing to extend public healthcare to millions of illegal immigrants on ethical grounds, even though many have not paid their way so to speak. No one of these immigration reform activists ever notes that the burden/cost on society is too high.
    But this medical establishment fascination with death always arrives at one view: pressuring the mom to abort a child suspected of having a birth defect.
    The diagnosis of Down Syndrome is likely to move form 95% accuracy to about 1%. but not there yet. For every 95 DS children aborted, we have mistakenly killed 5 who did not have Down Syndrome.
    We get outraged to hear how someone was given the death penalty wrongly, and we are happy when they are freed, with DNA evidence etc.
    Justice is deserved for each single one of those people. Same for the not-yet-born with anencephaly – each deserves our protection, rather than to be sacrificed for the miniscule advantage to society overall.

       6 likes

  12. That was an abortion.  It was done to hasten the child’s demise, and the mother’s life was not in danger at the time.

       4 likes

  13. Elsa, I forgot to answer your question, but meant to:
    a C-section that is done not to rescue the baby from a dangerous delivery but to hasten the demise is just using a technique to commit an abortion that is usually used for delivery.  Whether you use one technique or another, I will still oppose it and so will most pro-lifers.  Even if some day abortionists begin administering pain-relief to children in utero before they kill them, I will oppose that.  Human beings have the right to live their natural life span without being murdered because something about them makes one or both parents uncomfortable.   
    Of course, ectopic pregnancy is a fatal risk.  But a baby who is deformed?  That’s the baby you are getting rid of, and even if you comfort him before he dies, and bury him or her in a grave, what you have done is still abortion and thus murder.  If anyone takes any action whatsoever to hasten the death of child before his or her natural demise, and the mother’s life is NOT in danger, that’s an abortion.    Gosnell used drugs to induce labor.  Is he less of an abortionist because of that?  No.  Then stop trying to kid yourselves about a C-section.

       5 likes

  14. Hi Ninek,

    Thanks but that wasn’t exactly my question. Let me try again, perhaps I was being confusing.

    An ectopic pregnancy is often removed very early in the pregnancy for reasons related to a woman’s health. The embryo dies ( by nature and not by design) and pro-lifers don’t consider this an abortion. Do you or others think it would be okay to remove by induction or a c section a pre-mature baby for a woman’s non threatening health. For instance mental health, and if not why, the intent is improving the mothers health, the removed embryo/ fetus would be cared for to the fullest extent of medical capacity.

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  15. Do you or others think it would be okay to remove by induction or a c section a pre-mature baby for a woman’s non threatening health…?
     
    No.  I don’t believe in evicting human beings from the womb.    

       8 likes

  16. This discussion is getting really personal for me. My daughter was delivered (prematurely) by c-section because I developed preeclampsia at 7 months into my pregnancy. They TRIED to treat my high blood pressure by hospitalizing me and using medication to get it under control, then they sent me home. After about a week, it started to climb back up, so they figured the best thing to do was deliver the baby early.
    They induced my labor, but after 19 1/2 hours, she just wasn’t coming, so they did a c-section.
    Outcome? Healthy mother, and healthy -LIVING- baby.
    UNLIKE an abortion.

       12 likes

  17. According to ninek, though, Pamela wasn’t literally on the brink of death, so that was an abortion.

       4 likes

  18. When did ninek say “brink of death”, verbatim, Megan? I don’t think I read that.
     
    P.S. it takes real balls to try and give someone crap for having an induction to deliver a live and healthy child when their health was poor due to pregnancy when you couldn’t be bothered to carry long enough for your child to live just because you didn’t *feel* like it.

       12 likes

  19. X is right.  Pamela delivered.  It was her, the mother, whose health required the early delivery.  The other child in the story above, was deformed.  It was the child’s deformity that was the reason for the evicting the child from the womb.  An abortion advocate won’t see the difference because she doesn’t want to.

       7 likes

  20. “When did ninek say “brink of death”, verbatim, Megan? I don’t think I read that.
     
    Well, having lupus and kidney problems – i.e. being pretty darn sick – weren’t “good enough” reasons, according to ninek, for this woman to get an abortion. Maybe she didn’t want to “get” to the point where her life was “threatened.” Or maybe she didn’t want to carry an anencephalic fetus to term and wait for it to die. Or maybe she wanted to have the energy and health to take care of her existing kids, or maybe she wanted to get a job to support her kids, or maybe she felt like going on a trip to the Grecian islands and wanted to fit into her bikini.
     
    It doesn’t matter. Pregnancy is a big freaking deal, and if a woman isn’t fully on board with that, then forcing her to continue it is cruel.

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  21. Being alive is a big freaking deal.  You just want to use a hard-luck emotional case to keep justifying abortion. But the truth is, women who abort today are doing it most often, statistically, for “social” reasons, not because of their health.  Don’t cry me your crocodile tears today, abortion advocates.  I’ve seen you defend racist abortions, gender selective abortions, twin and triplet reduction abortions, abortions of once-wanted-then-oops-I-changed-my-mind.  There is NO abortion at all that you won’t defend.  Your hand wringing over this tough case does not impress me at all.
     
    Abortion advocates see this family’s life as one more way to justify murder.  Life is unpredictable and sometimes scary, and nobody wants to see a member of their family in distress, but you don’t fool me for a minute abortion advocates.  You don’t oppose any abortion for any reason.  So get off your high fake horse. 

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  22. You’re right, I don’t oppose abortion for any reason. This case simply highlights the insane cruelty of the pro-life position.

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  23. BlueVelbet, in addition to the intentions of the mother, the doctor, and the health of the mother, the health of the baby is also a consideration for determining whether an induction is an abortion.   Remember, induction is only a technique to get the baby out of the womb – and abortion is simply the euphemism for the intentional killing of the child regardless of the method chosen by the doctor and/or mother.  Inductions can and do result in abortions – end of argument.  In this case, if the induction was done before the baby was viable and when the mother’s health was not at risk it would be an abortion.  In these kind of situations the baby’s health, as long as it was alive, is, for the most part, irrelevant unless you want to get into the business of deciding which lives are valuable and which livers aren’t.

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  24. I am sorry to hear that about Megan.  Megan may I suggest that you get out of that business – it adds no value to life of the mother while ending the life of a human being.   You may also find that you are happier once you quit this line of work. 

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  25. I really think that this is a sort of “loophole” that certain doctors and hospitals use – esp. Catholic ones.

    For example, what a “Catholic” hospital will do is offer to induce labor in a woman who is carrying a child with a severe malformation. The child will be in born very early and that plus the other problems essentially ensure the child will not survive. Really, it’s a very barbaric practice.
     

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  26. Glad to see you put “Catholic” in quotes, because faithful Catholics respect the lives of severely malformed & unhealthy people just as much as healthy people.

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  27. There is a very big difference between RISKING the life of a baby by early induction or C-section, where the baby is given medical care afterwards, and deliberately killing the baby. One is trying to make the best of an otherwise bad situation to give both baby and mother the best chance possible. The other is murder.
    Had this been a baby without birth defects, or one with birth defects that allowed the baby to live, we would not even be having this discussion. C-sections and premature inductions where the mother is having either a serious pregnancy related health problem or is found to have a life-threatening health problem that cannot be treated without great risk to the baby, are done quite regularly and don’t make news at all.
    We don’t have all the facts. I have known a couple of women with lupus and one had had normal pregnancies with normal children and one had had a very dangerous pregnancy where they almost lost her and the child, and the baby (who lived to adulthood) had brain damage due to the problems she had during the end of pregnancy. Had more premature children lived back then, it would have been better for her and possibly spared her son from brain damage to have delivered him prematurely.
    Deliberately causing premature birth is not something to be taken lightly. I’ve known plenty of women who had premature births, and only one baby did not survive. That one was deliberate and that was because the mother had an RH factor with a previous pregnancy (it had not been diagnosed and treated) and a premature birth was the baby’s best chance. Did the doctors “kill” the baby? No, they were actually trying to give the baby a chance.
    Abortion is deliberately killing without giving the baby a chance to survive!

       5 likes

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