Medical leaders representing more than 30,000 doctors said intentionally killing a late-term unborn baby in an abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.
In a letter published at The Public Discourse, leaders of the American College of Pediatricians, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical groups explained their support of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
The bill, which narrowly failed in the U.S. Senate last week, would require that abortionists provide the same basic medical care to an infant who survives an abortion that doctors would to any other baby born at the same gestational age. Democrats wrongly claimed the bill was an attack on “women’s health care.”
“Abortion treats no disease,” the doctors responded. “Pregnancy is not a disease, and deliberately killing the unborn child by abortion is not healthcare.”
They said abortions – “the guarantee of a dead baby” – are never necessary in the rare cases when a mother’s life is in jeopardy late in her pregnancy.
The doctors explained:
After 20 weeks fertilization age, it is never necessary to intentionally kill the fetal human being in order to save a woman’s life.  In cases where the mother’s life actually is in danger in the latter half of pregnancy, there is not time for an abortion, because an abortion typically is a two to three-day process. Instead, immediate delivery is needed in these situations, and can be done in a medically appropriate way (labor induction or C-section) by the woman’s own physician. We can, and do, save the life of the mother through delivery of an intact infant in a hospital where both the mother and her newborn can receive the care that they need. There is no medical reason to intentionally kill that fetal human being through an inhumane abortion procedure, e.g. dismembering a living human being capable of feeling pain   , or saline induction which burns off the skin, or feticide with subsequent induction.
They also described the inherent discrimination that the bill addresses.
“There is no scientific or legal reason to distinguish between human beings born after an attempted abortion and human beings born after attempted live birth,” the doctors said.
“These same principles apply in cases in which the human being in utero has a disability or has been given a life-limiting diagnosis, such as anencephaly. Human beings who are disabled at birth deserve the same respect and dignity afforded to able-bodied children at similar gestational ages,” they continued.
The medical leaders pointed to perinatal hospice as a life-affirming, compassionate option for babies with fatal disabilities.
“Perinatal hospice provides optimal care for the mother, honors the life of her child and allows the family the opportunity to acknowledge, love, and mourn its newest member,” they wrote.
Signing the letter were Donna J. Harrison, M.D., executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Michelle Cretella, M.D., executive director of the American College of Pediatricians; John Schirger, M.D., president of the Catholic Medical Association; David Stevens, M.D., CEO of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations; and Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Together, the groups represent more than 30,000 doctors across the United States.