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Recent pro-life news snippets

It's a little late to say that this post is in honor of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, but at least it's in that vicinity in the Church Year. A few recent pieces of news of interest to pro-lifers:

--Good news: Rick Perry appears sincerely to have changed his mind on supporting a rape exception for abortion. I'm so glad he finally confronted logically the question: Why, since he already (one assumes) believes the unborn child is a person with a right to life, should this change if the child was the result of rape? Good for Governor Perry. That leads to another question: How did it become so acceptable for "pro-life politicians" to support a rape exception in the first place? Well, I have a theory about that: I think it started with an ambiguity between, on the one hand, allowing politicians to retain their pro-life credentials while voting for laws that contain a rape exception, provided those laws were an improvement in protecting the unborn over the status quo, and, on the other hand, allowing politicians to retain their pro-life credentials while holding that abortion really ought to be legal in the case of rape. This is a distinction I've been trying to drive home at least since the George W. Bush administration, which is when I think it became unclear in people's minds. Perhaps Governor Perry's conversion on this point will bring some more clarity of thought.

--Two abortionists have actually been arrested for murdering late-term unborn babies. I can hardly believe it. Is it really possible that these charges will stick?

--News has come to light that IVF clinics are donating embryos for destructive embryonic research without getting consent from the biological mothers. Really. These mothers might have believed that all their donated eggs, used to create embryos in vitro, would go for fertility treatments. In other words, they might have justified their egg donation on the grounds that they were helping infertile women. Mind you, that's not a good way to try to help infertile women, but imagine the horror of subsequently learning that embryos created with your eggs were donated for scientific research. I hope someone sues the posteriors off of these clinics.

Comments (50)

This is interesting.


Here's what it's looking like to me: The murder of a viable unborn child law has an exception for _lawful_ abortions. However, since Brigham was skirting the laws in various other ways, his abortions were technically not lawful; hence the law against killing an unborn child can be used against him, even though the women were consenting. I think that's a correct analysis of how the legal thing is going to work, though I don't have fully figured out the ways in which he was skirting the law. Possibly practicing without a license? This is very interesting. If it sticks, it could mean that abortionists who don't follow various regulations _on_ abortion might fall under these fetal homicide laws.

I agree with the impermissibility of abortion due to rape, but would abortion be permissible if the mother's life was at a high risk, e.g., dying from childbirth?

Rodney, performing an action to take the life of the baby precisely so as to save the life of the mother is, still, killing an innocent person, and is morally wrong. It is in the same category as murder.

To be very complete, many if not most moralists agree that performing an action which will have the effect of killing the baby even though its primary effect is to save the life of the mother is NOT the same kind of thing, and is morally permissible at least in principle. For example, if the mother has cancer and takes chemo drugs in order to save her life, the chemo drugs are reasonably expected to kill the baby yet the mother's life is not being saved precisely by killing the baby, but by killing the tumor. This is the principle of double effect, and within certain constraints (especially, that the evil effect foreseen is not willed, and that the good effect intended is at least as valuable as the evil effect not intended but foreseen) it is accepted as moral by most people.

Rodney, the short answer to your question is, "No." Actually, there used to be real examples of killing the child to save the mother's life right during childbirth, back in the bad old days before C-sections. In a bad labor, they would sometimes literally cut the child's head in pieces--section it--so as to deliver the dead baby and avoid the tearing of the mother's cervix, which could cause fatal hemmorrhage. It was a direct and deadly assault on a living child.

Tony, FYI, no doctor will give chemo drugs to a pregnant woman. Lawsuit territory. The oncologist insists that she be made un-pregnant before he'll treat her with chemo. In practice this means the pregnant woman is strongly urged to have an abortion so that she can be treated.

Anybody got an opinion on my theory regarding the "rape and incest" exceptions and how they became acceptable in "pro-life" candidates?

Tony, FYI, no doctor will give chemo drugs to a pregnant woman. Lawsuit territory.

It figures that something like that would be true, so the scenario is posed as a hypothetical, "if". Hopefully at some point in the future we can recover a sense of reality about these things, restore criminality to direct abortion, and correct tort law so that it addresses reality properly.

Somewhat far off in the future (if we ever get that far), there will most likely be artificial wombs that can carry a fetus through to the normal end of gestation. That's a troubling moral issue in itself, but it would undoubtedly take the heat off of the cancer - chemo - pregnancy quandary.

For the record, I do not agree with the use of double effect that would make it permissible to use chemo for the mother if it were extremely probable that it would kill the child. All the less so if there were no benefit *to the child*. For example, if both are likely to die otherwise but using the chemo _raises_ the child's odds of survival in some way, that would be different, though I doubt that this is ever the case. As the probability of killing the child by the chemo decreases, it comes, in my opinion, into the realm where we can discuss its permissibility. I have always believed that you cannot keep probability out of a consideration of double effect.

But here's the thing: The rape/incest exceptions used to be understood to be out of bounds. People got all tied up in knots about the life of the mother exception, but the third exception became politically acceptable in a pro-life candidate only after the Reagan and, IIRC, only _after_ the Bush I administration. Why? I think part of it was discouragement because of eight years of Bill Clinton. People were politically desperate to get someone better. Bush II really did, as I understand it, embrace all three exceptions, including the previously out-of-bounds rape/incest exceptions. National Right to Life told its members quite firmly that they should not worry about this, and I think that is how we got where we are. My bet is that Governor Perry said he held to all three exceptions without thinking. (My impression is that he's not much of a thinker.) He just "picked up" from somewhere that you're an extremist if you don't say that there should be all three of those exceptions. But some of us can remember when pro-lifers didn't think that way.

I'm interested, too, in the role played by the idea of voting for laws containing exceptions, as outlined in the main post. For the record, I think it could be legitimate to vote for a less-than-perfect law if it improved the legal situation for the unborn. But I think a very bright line needs to be drawn between that and an endorsement of such exceptions as really morally desirable (as opposed to temporary compromises as part of an incremental strategy). Because human beings aren't very logical thinkers, I think we've jumped right over that distinction, and our politicians have been led to believe that there _should be_ those three exceptions in any just abortion law.

I take this exemptions for rape/incest to be a positive sign. Logically, you are right that if the unborn is a human person then it should be protected regardless of how it came to exist. I think that by compromising here we can protect more babies than would otherwise be possible since the vast majority of pregnancies that lead to abortion aren't the result of rape/incest. Politically, I see the tide turning in the pro-life direction and see this compromise as being a pathway to make abortion in general illegal. Once that is done we can worry about the exemptions.

I'd prefer to live in a more logical world but unfortunately our politics is filled with emotional intensity without much thought. I've made this point to my liberal friends and although I believe that I have explained things to them sufficiently so that they 'get it' they still say that it is heartless and that there should be those exemptions at least.

Well, again, Ron, it depends on what you mean by "compromising here." First of all, we pro-lifers need to face the fact that nobody is asking us to write pro-life laws right now. In fact, with Roe v. Wade in place we have no opportunity to write laws that actually outlaw abortions and directly protect the unborn. So what do we mean by "compromising"? It's not as though there's a law on the table: "All abortions are outlawed in the United States [or the State of Michigan, or whatever] except for these three exceptions." If there were a law like that on the table, then it could make sense for a pro-lifer to vote for it, as of course right now that would be a huge improvement over the current situation. But we have no such opportunity.

So, what, practically speaking, does "compromising" on those three exceptions mean in our real situation? Well, I'm afraid that this is what it has meant: First, it has meant supporting politicians who *really believe* that there *should be* all three of those exceptions, that it's "heartless" not to have them. Not only supporting those politicians but calling them "pro-life," full stop, no qualification. Now, that's a problem. Because any politician who really would not, even if he could, outlaw abortion in the case of rape, is a politician with a confused moral sensibility _precisely_ in the pro-life area. He needs to be educated and confronted, not simply applauded, with everybody being told to shut up about any criticisms of him.

How can it be a "positive sign" that pro-lifers have come to support such politicians without even trying to change their minds? On the contrary. I think it's a positive sign that this woman _did_ talk to Governor Perry and that he changed his mind! _That's_ a positive sign. If she'd just shut up, he'd still be importantly confused.

What else does such a compromise mean right now, in practical terms? I'll tell you: It has meant writing those exceptions, all three, into laws regarding federal funding of abortion. Now, is that a compromise we should have made? No, it isn't. It didn't improve the lot of the unborn. On the contrary. It used to be that there was only a life of the mother exception on federal funding for abortion, and then the rape/incest exceptions were _added_ to the Hyde Amendment. So that was a _worsening_ of the legal situation for the unborn. It didn't save any lives. It didn't make anything any better. It just meant that more abortions were funded with tax dollars than had been funded before. So that compromise got us zilch. It would be a positive sign if we could get a President and Congress who would remove those exceptions from the federal funding laws. And such a change would not require the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The third effect of this has been that pro-lifers themselves have come to believe that there _should be_ those exceptions. Not just liberals and pro-choicers, but pro-lifers. And this is a predictable consequence. If our most revered and fought-for pro-life politicians _really support_ those exceptions, then presumably the rank and file should do so as well, or else they are heartless extremists. So we have come to internalize the ideas of the liberals.

I agree with Lydia's assessment of how these exceptions came to be embraced by pro-lifers. The way Dubya-era conservatives elevated the exceptions to a point of principle is of a piece with the feeble thinking that punctuated what was known as compassionate conservatism.

Confused moral sensibility has, unfortunately, long been a very common feature of folks on the Right whose interest in abortion is quite minimal. This confusion positively permeates mainstream GOP politicians and operatives, along with a sizable portion of the conservative commentariat from DC to NYC. Heck, the party elite seems dead set on nominating for president a man who was aggressively pro-abortion as recently as 1994.

All that said, we cannot lose sight of the fact that even with these odious exceptions, reforming our laws to prohibit all other abortions would be an enormous advance for life and justice in this republic.

The scandal of the IVF clinics, meanwhile, is appalling but hardly surprising. The corruption of the medical research industry by the culture of death is profound and disturbing.

Here's what it's looking like to me: The murder of a viable unborn child law has an exception for _lawful_ abortions.

Yes, there seems to be an inconsistency: "The state law allows for murder or manslaughter charges to be brought against a person who intends to kill or seriously injure a fetus or who wantonly disregards the safety of a fetus. It does not apply to doctors administering lawful medical care and does not impinge on a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy."

So whether or not someone is subject to prosecution depends on who's doing the killing and under what circumstances. Still, it's remarkable that this is being pursued in Maryland, a very liberal state.

As to a theory of how we came to see exceptions to the rule as rules in themselves, I don't have a theory any better than yours.

I also meant to bring to your attention an article by Fred Barnes in a recent Weekly Standard called "Hidden Persuaders: the unheralded gains of the pro-life movement": http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/hidden-persuaders_604174.html

Confused moral sensibility has, unfortunately, long been a very common feature of folks on the Right whose interest in abortion is quite minimal.

An interesting point, Paul. If people who really mean well by the pro-life movement, people who really are pro-life at heart, are constantly surrounded by co-party members who don't care about the issue, that's bound to have an influence.

Interesting Weekly Standard article, Bill. I hadn't seen it. I see a connection between it and the story here about the two abortionists arrested for killing late-term unborn babies. The article mentions increasing regulation of abortion mills. What if that increasing regulation could be combined with fetal homicide laws like the one mentioned here, so that abortionists who failed to follow all regulations could be directly prosecuted for homicide against the children since their killings were not _lawful_? That would be a wonderful twist, it seems to me.

so that abortionists who failed to follow all regulations could be directly prosecuted for homicide against the children since their killings were not _lawful_?

In fact I think that's what's happening with the two cases you link, though I'm not certain.

Lydia, I thought you might enjoy this blast from the past between Santorum and Barbara Boxer, circa 1999: http://www.nrlc.org/news/1999/NRL1199/boxsan.html

In fact I think that's what's happening with the two cases you link, though I'm not certain.

I've never been so excited about the prospects from simply regulating the abortion industry before. Previously I always had the impression that this was just nit-picking around the edges and wouldn't save any actual babies' lives, kind of thinking, "Oh, so as long as they kill them in a nice, clean death camp, we're okay with that? How does that help?"

Now I'm seeing new possibilities opening up.

That dialogue brings a smile to my face, Bill. I hadn't read it in a few years.

Hey, come to think of it, I've gotta go check if Rick Santorum is on my state's Republican primary ballot...

Re Perry's change of mind: I was initially sceptical of him because of the gardasil (sp?) issue, but he has shown himself a man capable of admitting when he's wrong, a trait not much in evidence in our current president or politicians in general. He's also a transparently decent fellow. I hope people will give him a second look.

Great Santorum exchange. I like him a lot, he seems rock solid on the fundamental social issues and an honorable person.

For those who are unaware, one of his children is special needs. She has a rare disease called Trisomy 18. This video is very moving:


The Elephant

The beginning of this video is the exchange transcribed above:


The Elephant

What L. McGrew is not telling you is that it is rare that all embryos donated get implanted even if everything goes as planned. Those that do not get implanted are thrown in the trash. Unless they are used for scientific research.

While it was unfortunate that there was a breakdown of consent in this particular case, the situation should not be thought of as "they would have been implanted otherwise", because that is not necessarily the case. They could have been unsuitable for implantation. I would wager than even the staunchest opponent of embryonic stem cell research would at least temporarily linger on the option of using them for research over just tossing them in the trash.

Also, embryonic research is not destructive. In fact, it is quite the opposite as the cells are often used to establish embryonic stem cell lines. Perhaps L. McGrew meant "destructive" in some overarching moral sense, although such a position is, to say the least, debatable.

What L. McGrew is not telling you is that it is rare that all embryos donated get implanted even if everything goes as planned.

Yes, I'm a slippery character, I am. Look, I'm in a bad mood today, and I'm not putting up with this junk. In short words that maybe you can understand: If embryos are going to be destroyed, liberals would supposedly agree that this shouldn't be done without their mothers' consent. That goes for both throwing them in the trash and experimenting on them. What ever happened to "choice"?

While it was unfortunate that there was a breakdown of consent in this particular case,

I see we have a small reading comprehension problem. Or perhaps you didn't even bother to read the linked article. The clinics are _routinely_ donating embryos for research without their mothers' consent. This isn't a "particular case."

Also, embryonic research is not destructive.

Aaaand, willfully dense to boot. Or else ignorant. It destroys the particular embryo whose cells are harvested."Embryonic stem cell lines" established from the harvested cells are not embryos, and in particular are not _that_ embryo that was just killed to harvest the cells. This is biological fact, not vague metaphysical speculation.

I think making a woman who was raped have the baby is going too far. She may have to live the rest of her life, and her child may have to, with the said rapists. Rapists have lawful rights when it comes to their kids. If the abortion is done, before the fetus has developed any brain, then it would probably be the most moral decision to let the mother free of a very real chance of a living hell.

She may have to live the rest of her life, and her child may have to, with the said rapists.

Bwahahahahahahah! You mean, it is unconscionable to give the child a chance to live, because then he "may have to" live.

Rapists do NOT HAVE ANY RIGHTS with respect to their children or the raped woman that the state has not falsely, stupidly, moronically, obtusely, insanely, and evilly decided to "grant" them out of a most disturbed sense of what is and what might be.

All we have to do to solve this artificial, insane little problem that the woman and the child "may have to live with" the rapist is to restore moral sanity to the situation, and declare once again that the rapist has no rights there. Killing the child so he doesn't have to live with the rapist is a "solution" that couldn't be remotely conceived except in the mind of a person who doesn't really care whether the child should live at all.

True, but I never said child. I meant a 5 or 7 week old fetus, the size of a pen point, not a child. And, you can't just wish away the real facts, the the rapists will have rights, as totally wrong it would be, and that mom or possible future child, would be subject to that rapist, one who may well have AIDS, or other life threatening diseases. It is unreasonable to ask a free person to be subjected to such a cruel fate.

True, but I never said child. I meant a 5 or 7 week old fetus, the size of a pen point, not a child.

What you said was:

I think making a woman who was raped have the baby is going too far.

A baby is a child. And...

She may have to live the rest of her life, and her child may have to, with the said rapists.

Her child is her child. It is her child after birth, it is her child immediately before birth, it is the same biological entity, a child, a human being 5 minutes after conception, because it is an integrated, full living being with its own DNA and its own life.

Look, Russell, I don't know where you are coming from or which rock you have crawled out from under, but saying a 5 week old fetus is not a human being is going with a claim that has been dealt with, refuted, defeated, and buried in these pages in excess of 100 times, from at least 20 different angles, by professors of law and philosophy, it's been defeated by medical doctors, and on and on and on. Go read them.

the the rapists will have rights, as totally wrong it would be,

Can you back that up with actual data? I am having trouble believing that in this country where women have nearly infinite rights with children before birth, and are with near 100% consistency given the presumption of rights in custody after birth, that any judge is going to force her to associate with a rapist for any purpose whatsoever.

And if perchance there is remaining one jurisdiction where some idiotic 100-year old judge who fails to uphold a woman's right not to deal with her rapist, this would be a great test case to force it into the state appellate court and get it overturned, or to force the legislature to clarify the point with a new law, as has been done in many states already. And she can move to a state that has done this.

Things like this come to mind.


If we did start forcing women to have a baby with a rapist, or as Santorum wants, even if the mom could die from an unaborted baby, the women could just go els where to get an abortion, or like long ago, a back alley with a coat hanger. Santorum saw nothing wrong with his wife getting an abortion is such cases, and would, if, god forbid, she should be raped, get on then too one would then suppose. It seems to me, that fetuses would be better off with a government that encouraged, and provided adequate pre-natal care, and a rugged environmental safety laws. Insured babies and moms, studies show, survive life longer.

If the five-week "fetus" is not a baby, why bother talking about rape anyway? If it's just some sort of growth or something, the mother should be able to kill it then just because it will disturb her figure otherwise. If it is a child, whether it was conceived in rape or not is irrelevant, just as it would be for a five-year-old child. So everything boils down to the status of the unborn child and whether it merely "becomes" a child over time or not. Rape is irrelevant.

My post was about supposed pro-lifers who supposedly do realize that we have a child from the time of conception onward. There is a real inconsistency for _them_ to say that there should be a rape exception. They don't have Russell's, shall we say, blind spot about an early unborn child.

Oh, and Russell, by the way: Good luck finding an abortionist that will do a surgical abortion at five weeks' gestation. They like to be able to reassemble all the little baby parts outside the mom to make sure they didn't leave any inside by accident to cause an infection. So they'd prefer if it were a coupla weeks later, at least. Since that is this big hairy metaphysical deal to you. But perhaps we'll discover at this point that you _aren't_ really on-board with protecting children after five weeks' gestation after all.

If a fetus is then just as much a human as any other person, and it should never be taken away, why did Santorum's wife have an abortion? She might have died, true, but wouldn't they have been murdering a human ( the fetus), with your logic?

I don't know anything about this supposed abortion by Rick Santorum's wife; it's not my job to defend everything Mr. Santorum ever did in his life. And, yes, I don't support a life of the mother exception either. So sue me.

So enough with the slander against the Santorums. I remembered that event, the death of their premie child, and wondered if _that_ could be what was being referred to now as an "abortion." What a lie. His wife went into labor naturally at 19 weeks because of a uterine infection, and the child was born too early to live. I remember quite well the story at the time and what the Santorums said in a released statement (this is almost word-for-word, though by memory): "Her body fought as hard as it could to keep that baby, but she went into labor." She was indeed given antibiotics, but I have serious questions as to whether antibiotics could cause an abortion in any event (that appears to be the foundation of the slanderous "drug-induced abortion" claim), and if early labor caused by an infection was likely to kill the child (as indeed it did in the end), then treating the infection was the best way to try to save the child as well!

Liberals are despicable.

Oh, and newsflash: Some premie children have lived at 19 weeks, and if I recall correctly, they had already had surgery on this unborn child to fix a urinary tract blockage. I believe that may have been the cause of the mother's infection. So they did everything they possibly could to save this child.

So, now we have the measure of Russell. He gives us a link to an article with doubtful data, in which the only claim (for Russell's purposes) is that the rapist had access to his biological daughter. Nothing in the article or later comments gives one single reason to suppose that this access was granted as a legal arrangement, and some comments provided ideas for options other than it being a judicial result.

Then Russell provides slander against the Santorums, calling "abortion" what was clearly nothing of the sort. He is obviously careless with the truth in multiple ways, and hasn't a clue how to think his way through a moral consideration. Blame the liberal education establishment for that.

I will retract my total opposition to abortion for one (and only one) exception: I would grant to liberals the right to retroactively abort convicted rapists. But we don't seem to get any takers for that from liberals. Why, oh why is it that they are so willing to take the consequences of rape out on the innocent baby, but not on the guilty male-chauvinist rapist?

You are right, Lydia. I think Karen Santorum begged them to try to stop the labor so the baby would have a better chance to live (yes, the infection was from the surgery to try to save the baby in the first place, who would have certainly died in the womb without it), and finally Rick Santorum, after being told he would likely lose both child and mother if she kept fighting it, told her they had to let nature take its course. To call this an abortion rather than a miscarriage is base slander.

Our granddaughter who died last summer was 17. She was born about 19-20 weeks early. Yes, she suffered a brain bleed and was physically and mentally impaired, and we are all so grateful for her life and her many years with us. So, yes, it was actually possible that the Santorum baby *might* have lived. (Our other granddaughter who was born just as early is a perfectly normal child. So you never know. And the Santorums knew and lived that.)

I think they induced labor, knowing it would kill the baby and save the mom. Which begs one to question, is it hypocritical for Santorum to state that giving moms the right to abort who are in danger of their lives, as "phony"?

"In 1996 Santorum’s wife, Karen, became severely ill while pregnant and had to be rushed to the hospital. There, she and her husband Rick were told that if she did not induce her labor, she and the baby would more than likely die. The decision was made to induce labor, and abort the fetus."


Liars. This comment somebody left on that article meshes with what Lydia was quoting above from the Santorums themselves:

"Your facts are wrong.

The doctors did NOT induce labor.

They treated Mrs. Santorum's septic infection with a drug which was meant to minimize the infection. One of the known side effects of the procedure to treat the infection was the possibility of early labor. This side effect was foreseen, but was NOT desired.

As it happened, in this case, the side effect did occur, the 20-week old child was born alive to the Santorums."

It makes me ill to think this twisting of the facts could actually cost Santorum some votes.


Lawfully, would Santorum then approve or disapprove a procedure that was risky to the baby? He said plainly, that their should be no exceptions when abortion/killing a baby is concerned. It was a "phony" thing, this fear for a mom's life.

Russell, you are skating on thin ice.

According to more reputable sources than "progressive in portland", the facts are as follows:

1. Santorums had surgery on the fetus to hopefully allow the fetus to survive longer.

2. Karen became infected as a result of the surgery - temp went near 105.

3. Doctors administered antibiotics to fight infection.

4. Karen started to go into labor as a result of the medications and / or the fever.

5. The labor did not progress to allow birth.

6. Doctor advised that baby probably would not survive if born at 20 weeks.

7. The doctors administered pitocin to complete the labor and delivery.

8. The baby was born at 20 weeks.

9. Baby died 2 hours after birth.

Now, for a little medical information: (a) babies delivered at 20 weeks usually do not survive. (Beth, before now I have never heard of a survival before 23 weeks.) (b) sometimes labor starts and then goes nowhere, and pitocin is used to normalize the labor. (This happened for my first child: sufficient oxytocin for labor to get started, insufficient for it to progress normally). The condition where labor has started and has not progressed is unstable and cannot be allowed to persist for long. (c) No action was taken to kill the baby after birth. In procured abortions, the baby is killed inside the womb, or while still attached to the mother through the umbilical cord by direct action to bring about death.

To characterize the administration of pitocin in the above situation as "terminating pregnancy" is so disgusting a misuse of language as to warrant reprimand. Nor is it appropriate to refer to the administration of pitocin as "inducing labor" when labor has already initiated. To characterize the death of the born baby as "abortion" is wildly inaccurate.

I won't even get into the moral discussion of double-effect, since that would be far, far beyond Russell's capabilities.

Russell, I don't know why you think you have a right to go around dropping rotten eggs in our blogs, but cut it out. For your multiple offenses against due care for truth, you may now consider commenting on the Santorums' medical event to be off limits to you.

Russell, time for you to bag it. I tell you what: If you want, for a little while, until I get really tired of your thread-jack, you can ask _me_ what _my_ opinion is on some specific, clearly defined action vis a vis an unborn child. Leave the Santorums, who did nothing wrong, out of it. Stop dragging the name of good people through the mud or shut up. I hope that is clear.

By the way, how very interesting: You apparently _do_ want people to be able to kill 20-week unborn children. So much for "five weeks." No surprise there.

I am sorry I offended anyone, and I will not mention Santorum's situation again. I just wanted some answers and knew of no better place. Generally speaking, can I assume that people here do acknowledge that rare times do happen, when a pregnancy could kill the mother, and then it would be morally right to save her, if that is what must be done. It just bothered me to read that Santorum thought that aspect of abortions was "phony".


Oh, no I think after 7 or 8 weeks should be the limit as far as allowing it, personally my wife and have never had an abortion, for any reason, nor would unless it endangered her life.


I did more research about the Santorum's and you and the rest were right a long. I should have been more distrustful of things less informed people were saying. While not really a fan of this liberal, very liberal in fact, site called Salon, I do respect their coverage of the event. Again, I was very wrong to say that about Santorum.


Generally speaking, can I assume that people here do acknowledge that rare times do happen, when a pregnancy could kill the mother, and then it would be morally right to save her, if that is what must be done.

I do not in fact support a life of the mother exception. If both child and mother are going to die because of some condition at a certain stage of pregnancy, then it may actually be best *for the child* if the child is born and treated outside of the womb. That is to say, the child may have a better chance of living that way. Deliberate labor induction when a child cannot possibly survive outside of the womb, and with no intent to treat the child as a preemie, is wrong. If a child has some chance of surviving, then he should be treated as a preemie when he is born and saved if possible.

Generally speaking, can I assume that people here do acknowledge that rare times do happen, when a pregnancy could kill the mother, and then it would be morally right to save her, if that is what must be done.

We have discussed this concern in other threads. One on the abortion in a Phoenix hospital (Catholic), I think it was last year - I can't find it.

If you want to discuss this, the first thing you need to do is make an important distinction: what is causing the death of the mother, and by what mechanism are you overcoming this cause of death? In the above case, it was the presence of the baby itself, not something WRONG with the baby, that was understood to be harming the mother, because of something else that was wrong in the mother (acute hypertension). The "solution" was to kill the baby - that's what helped the mother. Which means that the doctor chose to kill one (innocent) person to assist another.

In other cases, it is not the presence of the baby that is doing the killing, it is something else, like cancer. Treating cancer is not identical to "killing the baby" even if it might have that effect, it is treating an illness the mother has independently of the presence of the baby. Which doesn't automatically mean that the cancer treatment is fine, but it still isn't the same moral situation as the one in Phoenix.


Thanks for elaborating. What I gather from reading things on the web, what people fear, is the law Santorum wants would endanger women's lives. For instance, my niece, who just had her 3rd baby, was told by the dr. that it would be very dangerous to have more, should she somehow become pregnant, one would hope the law would have nothing to say about her taking steps to be sure to do the safe thing.

one would hope the law would have nothing to say about her taking steps to be sure to do the safe thing.

Russell, that's sheer euphemistic vagueness. Let's talk straight talk: Should the law have "nothing to say" about her going to an abortionist, having the abortionist dilate her cervix, go in with a suction curette, and suck the unborn child out in pieces? As far as I'm concerned, the law should forbid that assault on the child.

But seriously: Hello? We live in a country of the Roe v. Wade regime, in which children can be killed for any reason up to birth. You want scary? That should be scary, yes, even to you. Yet you're going around aflutter because someone wants to run for President as a Republican candidate who doesn't support a life of the mother exception? Please: Get a grip on reality. A President Rick Santorum would be very, very lucky if he found a way either to appoint justices to overturn Roe, which would simply return the matter to the states, which would legislate all over the map but _certainly_ would have life-of-the-mother exceptions, or he would find a way to ignore Roe and do functionally the same thing. At the very, very most. Neither my position nor Santorum's on life of the mother exceptions is even worth _discussing_ in the current political arena. The millions of babies torn to pieces in their mothers' wombs are worth caring about and discussing. You should hang with fewer liberal friends who want to distract your attention to the scary bogeyman of a candidate who might not support a life of the mother exception.

one would hope the law would have nothing to say about her taking steps to be sure to do the safe thing.

SAFE FOR WHOM, dammit?

Outside of abortion, the law doesn't hold a preference for one innocent person's life over another's. You try to save BOTH. You try to protect both. In the extremely rare cases where your efforts are foreseeably not going to save both, or protect both, you are allowed to work more especially to save one...but NOT by intentionally killing the other. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a moral act that already has a name: murder.

I wonder if you knew that no pre-mature baby has survived less than 21 weeks old. For even those rare cases, it would take health insurance. With a new law that made all moms risk their lives, even for impossible situations, would you and people like the Santorum's be willing to have the governemnt pay for universal health insurance? There are also many people who risk death if they did not have a kidney transplant. So, if Santorum refused to let poeple have one of his, would then he be charged with murder?

Okay, Russell, I told you to ask _me_ questions and to stop obsessing over a political candidate. I'm making this clear again, or clear if it wasn't clear before: Stop doing this nonsense, "Would Santorum do this or that." Or I'll delete your comments.

Beyond that, you really can't think. I'm sorry, but you really can't think. If you cannot make a distinction between *tearing someone apart with forceps or a suction curette* and not giving someone one of your kidneys, then you are totally hopeless. Please stop wasting my time.

Lydia, with all the amazing lawsuits that go forward these days, I wonder if maybe we need to start a lawsuit against the education bureaucracy: for formulating an educational paradigm which not only turns out uneducated people, but leaves them with the ridiculous notion that they have been educated and therefore that they have a license to think, a license to hold opinions on public matters. It would be, in a sense, a lawsuit against malpractice and false advertising.

Heh. Well, it would have a point. Probably succeed better with kids who actually can't _read_ but are still given a diploma. However, probably people pressure for social passes by means of attempted lawsuits as well.

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