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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Writer: 'Dying fetus counted for more than the life of this young, vibrant woman'

We shouldn't be making decisions for women in these situations. It is a medical decision, not one to be determined by an outsider's view about religion or politics.

Catholic Reporter: Abortion laws may not have been the cause of woman's death

From the piece: 

He said that the question of a Catholic ethos preventing or inhibiting medical personnel from carrying out proper medical treatment, as defined by the Medical Council, had been raised. “I have no evidence of that, but, again, I am not going to preclude what a coroner’s court will find, and I want to await that independent investigation that a coroner always undertakes,” Dr. Reilly told the Irish parliament, in response to questions about the incident.

While no one wants to intrude on Mr. Halappanavar’s obvious grief over the death of his wife, medical experts and bioethicists have been quick to express their view that Ireland’s ban on abortion had nothing to do with Mrs. Halappanavar’s death. They insist that guidelines from the Irish Medical Council are perfectly clear that pregnant women must be given all necessary medical treatment.

Remember Savita Halappanavar

From the piece: 

Ah, but, you say, the Irish abortion ban has an exception to save a woman’s life. Not exactly. In 1992, the government tried to bar a 14-year-old girl raped by a neighbor from traveling with her parents to Britain for an abortion. The case went to the Supreme Court, which decided that abortion was legal when the pregnancy is a “real and substantial risk to the mother’s life,” and that this included suicide, which the girl in this case had threatened. The government was supposed to re-examine its abortion law, but why make waves? Twenty years later, the original law still stands. In effect, this means a doctor who performs an abortion to save a patient’s life could be arrested and required to prove that his judgment was correct at trial. It takes a brave doctor, one confident of his medical judgment, to take this risk. The bishop of the diocese of Phoenix forced the resignation of hospital administrator Sister Margaret McBride and then excommunicated her, after she OK’d a medically necessary abortion at St. Joseph’s in 2010. If McBride had been on vacation, would someone else have stepped up to the plate?

When pregnancy kills a woman, her fetus dies, too. So what is the point of denying a life-saving abortion except to underline that she is the vessel, and the fetus is the human being?


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