More Anti-Abortion Insanity

While many in the country want some restrictions on abortion, the few consistent opponents of abortion want to ban it across the board. The only possible exception might be an extreme risk to the mother’s life (because then the fetus is at risk, too). Here’s what one Christian has to say on the matter:

The best way to handle it legally is to attempt to protect both mother and fetus from being deprived of life without due process. Because of the emergency nature of most life-threatening pregnancies, the doctor would have to make a call that ending the pregnancy (and therefore, if the fetus is too young to survive, the life of the fetus), just as a policeman often must make the decion that a suspect has to be shot dead to protect the public.

The way to handle these emergencies isn’t to grant broad judgment to doctors (or cops) to just kill people at their descretion; rather, it is to allow for the prosecutor to not pursue the case if it appears that the doctor (or cop) proceeded on good faith, believing that such a drastic measure as killing was necessary to protect the innocent life of the mother (or public).

Notice the high bar here: if an abortion is “necessary” to protect the “life of the mother,” then it may proceed. Presumably, that means that, without an abortion, the mother certainly would die. Unfortunately, in the real world, risks often are less than 100 percent, and doctors rarely are able to perfectly anticipate risks. By the standard mentioned, anytime the risk to the mother were not 100 percent, the doctor would be wading into legal trouble by offering an abortion. Does that mean that, with an 80 percent risk of death to the mother, the doctor may not operate?

Even if the doctor believes that the mother’s death is a certainty without an abortion, a prosecutor may disagree. Could a prosecutor find any anti-abortion doctor anywhere who would testify that the mother’s life might possibly have been saved? In many or most cases, yes. Medicine is not a science of exactly calculated risks. It is art that often involves educated guesses.

The writer cited does not explain, in detail, how the program would be carried out (because there is no way to do so). What is obvious, though, is that the policy described would result in the deaths of women. That is considered by some to be the “pro-life” position.