Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Do No Harm Part II

Part I

Third, here are some interesting quotes found here:

It is only in extremely rare cases that abortion can even be mentioned as a potential means of saving the mother's life. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, stated in a 1996 New York Times editorial that because of the advances in modern medicine, "partial-birth abortions are not needed to save the life of the mother" (1). Sixteen years earlier, he wrote: "In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be be aborted to save the mother's life." Even Planned Parenthood's Dr. Alan Guttmacher acknowledged, “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.”

The same article makes this interesting observation about ectopic pregnancies:

. . . if ectopic pregnancy is left untreated, the likelihood that the mother will die lies somewhere between .05%-.119%.

An untreated ectopic pregnancy would constitute a worst-case scenario.

Fourth, here is a brief excerpt from a letter to the editor of a newspaper, written by a neonatologist:

In fact, Ireland — a country where the unborn child is constitutionally protected — has the lowest maternal death rate in the world. More than a decade ago, a group of Ireland’s top obstetricians concluded that “there are no medical circumstances justifying direct abortion, that is, no circumstances in which the life of a mother may only be saved by directly terminating the life of her unborn child.”

To sum up: ectopic pregnancies are a concern, but they usually resolve themselves without medical intervention. Even dealing exclusively with untreated cases, a hair over one-tenth of one percent of women -- at most -- die of this complication. Once one factors in access to proper medical care, the number drops, becoming effectively nonexistent.

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