More pro-life groups are responding to the death of Savita Halappanavar, whom abortion advocates claim died due to a hospital’s refusal to abort her unborn child by inducing labor.
But leading pro-life campaigners say abortion would not have saved her life — that doctors can successfully help pregnant women in dire medical circumstances without destroying the life of her unborn baby.
Halappanavar was 17 weeks’ pregnant when she came to the hospital in Galway. She miscarried and later died from septicaemia. The case is currently subject to investigations by the Ireland government.
“The full details of this case are not yet known, so we must await the investigations which have been launched before we can make definitive comments. What we do know is that miscarriage and infection can be managed by proper medical treatment. Abortion is not medicine – it does not treat or cure any pathology,” he said.
Tully told LifeNews that leading obstetricians with extensive experience in dealing with these situations have found that they can be successfully managed without abortion, while sometimes the pregnancy can be saved. This was recently confirmed at a symposium in Dublin by Dr Byron Calhoun, a U.S. obstetrician. http://youtu.be/RA1UJEHafLk
“It is not ethical to induce delivery of an unborn child if there is no prospect of the child surviving outside the womb. At 17 weeks’ pregnancy Mrs Halappanavar’s child was clearly not viable outside the womb, as there is no scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of surviving outside the womb at such a young age. Rather than removing the protection of the womb from unborn children, the ethical response to emergency situations in pregnancy is medical treatment of the mother for the conditions causing the emergency. In the case of infection, this is usually timely administration of antibiotics,” Tully said. “It is also not ethical to end the life of an unborn child, via induction or any other means, where the child is terminally-ill.”
“What is rarely reported are the many cases of women who have died from infection or other causes because of supposedly safe and legal abortions. Manon Jones, Jessie-Maye Barlow and Emma Beck would all be alive today if they had not been subjected to abortions in Britain,” Tully added. “The Republic of Ireland has the world’s best record in maternal health, without recourse to abortion. By contrast, Great Britain and the United States, with their high abortion rates, have poor maternal health records. It is therefore entirely spurious to argue that Ireland should legislate for abortion in order to save women’s lives.”
Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, also commented on Savita’s death.
“The staff and pro-life missionaries of Human Life International join those mourning the death of Savita,” he said. “We pray that God have mercy on her soul and that He will bring peace and healing to her family and friends who have lost a loved one.”
“But we categorically reject the pro-abortion activist and media effort to use her death for their own cause when very few facts are known about the decisions regarding her treatment,” he continued. “We join Irish Health Minister James Reilly in appealing for people to await the outcome of investigations by the coroner, the Hospital and Health Service Executive. And it needs to be pointed out that according to Mr. Reilly, there is no evidence that a Catholic ethos prevented responsible treatment of Savita, despite some news reports demonizing the Catholic Church’s position on abortion as the sole reason for Savita’s tragic death.”
“The Church’s position in these difficult cases is always to save both patients – both mother and child. The description of the hospital’s response to Savita’s condition sounds, at best, incomplete, and at worst, a complete misrepresentation of the response of a hospital that has an exemplary record for maternal health,” he continued.
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“We must also ask why it is not time for a national conversation about abortion when a woman dies from having an abortion. In the U.S., it is well known that a young woman named Tonya Reaves died this past July from a botched abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood, yet somehow her death did not merit international attention and condemnation despite reports of staggering negligence on the part of Planned Parenthood leading to her death,” he told LifeNews. “And yet we are led to believe with this deluge of press surrounding the death of Savita, and with obviously incomplete information, that a Catholic hospital maliciously caused the death of a young mother by not treating her.”
“This is activism masquerading as compassion and moral outrage. Let us find out what the hospital actually offered for treatment, how things actually proceeded, then let’s make our judgment as to the cause of this tragic death. But if we are actually concerned about women’s health, we must be just as outraged by those many women harmed or killed every week through legal and illegal abortion around the world. Until then, with the Catholic Church we insist that medical professionals do everything they can to save both mother and child in these difficult situations. Abortion always takes one life and harms another. It saves no one, and it divides communities and nations, as we see again in this tragic episode,” he concluded.