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Hi, this is my blog for all sorts of pro-life news, statistics, stories, and personal ventings. I am a wife and mother, as well as a nursing student. I I truly believe that abortion has failed women, and will continue to do so as long as it is legal.


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Justifiable death

In regards to the issue of "necessary evil" and who decides what is a matter of lifestyle and what is a matter of life:

The easiest parallel in the situation is between mother and child and conjoined twins of unequal health.

A therapeutic abortion(in the truest sense of life and death, not disability or "health") is the equivalent of separating conjoined twins when either one will parish or they both will. Removing the weaker twin to allow the stronger to live, while tragic, is within the physicians responsibility. I say this because in both a pregnancy and a situation regarding conjoined twins, the physician must take into account both patients. Because of his obligation to preserve life, he must then choose to go with the path that preserves the "most" life.

An induced abortion, however, is far more similar to a case involving unequal conjoined twins that, if left together, will both live. While it is understandable that the stronger twin would like to be removed, doing so before the weaker has the capability to survive on his own is simply unjustifiable from a medically ethical standpoint. Separating the two may benefit the stronger greatly, but it will result in the death of the weaker. A physician can not abandon one patient for the good of another unless doing so is the only way to save the life of either.

Thom, as far as abortion being "evil", I believe death is the result of the fall of man and thus arises out of Sin, but I believe that an abortion necessary to save the mother from death is roughly the moral equivalent of a miscarriage. It is a tragic.

16 Comments:

  • Lauren:

    I am aware of no cases where abortion is necessary to save the mother's life.

    The only case that is close is that of ectopic pregnancy. In doing searches on this topic, one occasionally comes across the assertion that attempts have been made to reimplant children in ectopic pregnancies in a more advantageous location, though these have apparently had little success. I have made it specifically clear to my husband that if I am incapacitated due to an ectopic pregnancy, I will not be operated on by anyone who is not willing to try this.

    I will go so far as to say that abortion is evil. And I would rather die than let someone masquerading as a doctor kill my child.

    I am convinced that if this is a circumstance where doctors must choose, it is only because so little attempt has been made to find a truly satisfactory solution. How do they know the baby cannot be moved or saved in grave circumstances when no one cares enough to try?

    By Blogger Young Christian Woman, at 2:03 PM  

  • I agree that there are very VERY few times when abortions are ever necessary, and I too would go through every possible option to save my child if I was faced with such odds.

    However, until such techniques are availble to transfer pregnancies, there will continue to be a very small percent of pregnancies that risk both the life of the mother and child.

    However, there are enough of these types of pregnancies to move the debate out of simple theory and into reality. Jacque does a really good job talking about these situations in the comment's section of my post titled "to my anon. commenter: On Koko and capacity".

    Blessings.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 2:26 PM  

  • Lauren

    My argument is not quantitative. It is not predicated by how many abortions are of type A vs. type B. Ethical arguments generally do not have much to do with raw numbers.

    What they have to do with is setting some kind of baseline for conversation. A “minimum moral threshold,” if you will. In other words, the operative question is: are there any circumstances at all when abortion is justified? If the answer is no, then we might assume (along with Jacque) that abortion is inherently evil. If the answer is yes, then the act might be repugnant to some people, but it is not inherently wrong.

    I hope this is making sense. By the way, I appreciate that you admit the specific religious base (Roman Catholic) of your argument. Too many pro-lifers like to cloak their arguments is supposedly non-religious garb. But you are honest, and admit that you believe in the fall of man and original sin.

    Thom

    PS – Jacque does not provide a coherent argument about anything. I would put it closer to a rant than I would anything resembling logic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:01 PM  

  • As far as my religious beliefs, yes they do influence my view of when life begins. I'm actually not roman catholic, but rather a heretic oneness pentecostal. :)

    But I generally don't frame my arguments from a religious standpoint because they don't hold much weight if someone doesn't believe in God. However, when confronted with the concept of "Evil" it becomes necessary to define what I believe Evil to be.


    Anyways, I wasn't implying that the shear numbers of therapeutic abortions made the argument unnecessary, but rather that the fact that they exist at all makes them important to discuss. So I think we agree there.


    As far as Jacque- She's logical for a living :)

    By Blogger Lauren, at 6:57 AM  

  • Thom,

    First of all, someone obviously decides to abort an embryo, whether it is a doctor (medical emergency) or mother (elective abortion) or the state. To say “no one decides” is utterly meaningless since it is patently obvious that abortions occur.

    You misunderstood. People do decide. People decide to rape. People decide to abuse children. Those acts (like abortion) are inherently evil. I made it quite clear that I don't oppose abortion happening too much, but happening at all. Your question, "Who decides" is irrelevant because no one should be given the legal choice. I made that clear. Who decides who is allowed to rape others? Who decides who is allowed to abuse children? Who decides who is allowed to kill an unborn child through abortion? I have made it clear that those actions are evil and not a "decision" that anyone should allowed to make without legal consequences.

    Whereas I accept that people decide to do evil things, you are suggesting that some protocol should exist to permit the evil-doing for some not others. I take that back, you propose to offer evil-doing rights for all (in the case of abortion) and present the "who decides" question to accuse us of inconsistency: "Well, if it's okay in this instance, why not other times? Also, how could you accurately police those situations where you agree that abortion is acceptable?" See, I don't. And unless you suggest that abortion is never wrong, you are the one with the inconsistent argument. I think perhaps you are angry that I wasn't trapped into the pidgeon-hole you were attempting to lead us into for the sake of developing your argument.

    Abortion is evil. Rape is evil. Child abuse is evil. Each action does harm to a human being. None should be a legal "decision" for anyone to make.

    -Jacque
    P.S. I'm not Catholic and neither is Lauren. I encourage you to check out Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League. It might challenge some of your sterotypes.

    By Blogger JacqueFromTexas, at 7:12 AM  

  • Jacque

    Sorry for calling you RC – is that link for real? Are you really a pro-life atheist/agnostic, or is that some kind of joke? Pardon my ignorance. Lauren, you are a "heretic oneness Pentecostal?" I guess I’m not in on that joke.

    As for your reply, I’m not sure where to begin, other than I have no idea where you are going with this. You seem caught up in the idea that people choose to do bad things, which I don’t disagree with, but I’m not sure why that is relevant. You write: “Whereas I accept that people decide to do evil things, you are suggesting that some protocol should exist to permit the evil-doing for some not others.” I’m confused here – how are these two positions (1 – people do evil things and 2 – sometimes we exempt people out of the bad acts they do) opposites? I completely agree with 1 (in fact it is impossible to disagree) and 2 has been demonstrated empirically many times.

    You state: “I think perhaps you are angry that I wasn't trapped into the pidgeon-hole you were attempting to lead us into for the sake of developing your argument.” Believe me, I’m not the type to get angry over an argument on a blog. I actually quite enjoy this, in a perverse way. But I still don’t know what you are talking about. Tell me what you think my argument is, and where I was trying to lead you.

    Finally: “Abortion is evil. Rape is evil. Child abuse is evil. Each action does harm to a human being. None should be a legal "decision" for anyone to make.” This is an empty set of statements, since it confuses the descriptive (or what is, “rape is evil”) and the normative (or what should be.) The argument is not about whether abortion is legal – nearly everyone agrees that under certain conditions abortion is a necessary, albeit tragic, procedure, and should not be illegal. You are confusing ethical theory and legal theory.

    Thom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:52 AM  

  • Thom, you probably wouldn't understand the "heretic" part of my response unless you were part of the apostolic movement.

    Essentially, the origional pentecostal movement is split between "trinitarians" and "oneness". The trinitarians believe in the traditional view of Father,Son, Holy Ghost while the Oneness believe that God is God expressed in all form in the Old and New testaments.

    It's very complex, but the joke is that oneness pentecostals are seen as heretics by all main stream Christians and especially trinitarian Pentecostals.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 10:00 AM  

  • Lauren

    I see. So what then is the status of Jesus Christ for oneness pentecostals? If there is only one God, how did he come to earth? I'm RC, and while we believe in the trinity, they are actually one entity. How is that different from your theology?

    Thom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:22 AM  

  • He came to earth as Jesus Christ in the same way he came to earth as the Burning Bush. If that makes sense. He was and is physically both the burning bush (for example) of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New.

    Instead of the traditional view of God the person sitting with Christ the person in Heaven while the Holy Ghost resides within man,(correct me if this is a misrepersentation) Oneness theology sees God as incompassing all roles simultaneously but as different manifestations.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 11:02 AM  

  • OK. By the way, are you going to explain why human rights are inherent in the body?

    Thom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 PM  

  • Cases in which abortion/premature induction is sometimes (not ALWAYS, but sometimes) necessary to save the mother's life:

    Pre-eclampsia and Hyperemesis gravidarum.

    As for HG, some women are able to get through it and carry to term, but if the mother has renal failure and dialysis doesn`t work, then both mother and fetus are doomed, and an abortion is the only way to save the mother.

    A few years ago, a college friend of mine and her 20-week gestational male twins died from pre-eclampsia. A c-section would not have saved her twins -- they were too small.

    By Blogger L., at 3:20 PM  

  • L. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, I can only imagine her pain.
    She'll definitely be in my prayers.

    As far as pregnancy termination being necessary... I know that there are times when it is. What I don't know is if certain late term abortion techniques are ever necessary.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 6:31 PM  

  • I had lost touch with the friend after she transferred to another college, so I didn`t know her husband -- I found out by reading her obituary (and heard the details third-hand, from other friends of hers). I still wonder if she knew at the time that she was dying -- they already had a little girl, too, and the thought of dying and leaving a baby behind is every mother`s second-worst fear (after the baby dying).

    I think later-term techniques are for the health, not the life, of the mother, are often what really separate pro-life people from pro-choice people. For example, the case in this article:

    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20061030/1a_cover30.art.htm

    Since I have a similar medical history to this woman (repeat c-sections, scarred uterus), I believe I would have had an abortion if I were in her same situation, whereas my pro-life friends would never, ever consider it.

    By Blogger L., at 10:33 AM  

  • Oh wow, I read your initial post as only the twins dying. I didn't realize your friend died as well. The fact that she left behind a child makes it all the more tragic.

    As far as the "health" of the mother, it has gotten even more pronounced now due to the (in my opinion) overly zealous c-section rate. My own c-section was unavoidable because my son was transverse and had far too little amniotic fluid to perfrom a flip. Now with the repeat c-sections in vouge, I worry that any subsequent children will be birthed as c-sections.

    This is definitely a worry to me because of the risk involved in multiple cesearean births.

    Carrying to term a pregnancy that may prove harmful is a leap of faith. This is especially true if you hope for later children. It is a tragic situation, one with no real moral equivelency, but I believe that as mothers, our primary objective must be the lives of our children. Even if the only life they'll have is within our womb.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 11:38 AM  

  • I don`t know if repeast c-sections are exactly "in vogue" -- the rate remains high, but it`s still a matter of individual choice (or at least it should be!). If a woman wants to try a VBAC and is a good candidate for it, then more power to her -- and to you, too, if that`s what you decide you want.

    My first c-section wasn`t planned -- it followed 2 days of pitocin-induced labor, when my (big-headed) son was more than 2 weeks overdue. I decided that if I went into labor with my next pregnancy, I would attempt a VBAC, but I didn`t, and when my daughter was overdue and my cervix wasn`t even effaced, my choices were 1) plan another c-section, or 2) plan another induction. I know that pitocin has higher risks when a woman`s uterus already has scars, so I picked the repeat c-section, and so I had another one for our final baby, too. The last one was the worst, but I think it was because I was older and so the recovery wasn`t as quick, plus I was in Japan where they don`t believe in much pain medication after childbirth.

    By Blogger L., at 12:45 PM  

  • I meant in vouge a bit tounge in cheek, but I know that at least in America physicians often perform c-sections for reasons other than the health or life of either party. That really frustrates me.

    As far as vbac vs. repeat, it really is a tough call, I would perfer if the first never occured.

    I suppose in today's society most people don't care that the limit is 3 c-sections, because most people only plan on having 2 children. It's just frustrating when you plan a large family but start off with a "disability".

    Sorry, just my little rant.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 6:12 PM  

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