A growing number of OB-GYNs say they have never needed to kill an unborn baby in an abortion to save a mother’s life.
Their testimonies refute abortion activists’ claims that abortions are health care and that laws banning the killing of unborn babies in abortions somehow jeopardize women’s lives.
In a new interview with The Federalist, Dr. Christina Francis, an Indiana OB-GYN and CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said she never has had to abort an unborn baby to save a mother in her 14 years of practice.
“There are rare situations in which we need to prematurely deliver a baby due to life-threatening complications of pregnancy,” Francis said.
But never has she had to kill an unborn baby to save its mother. Instead, in emergency situations, she said she delivers the baby and takes care of both mother and child.
“Not only is this the ethical thing to do, and a fulfillment of our oath to do no harm, but it is also much faster than abortion and improves outcomes for the mother,” she said. “Babies have survived as young as 21 and 22 weeks, as the age of viability continually changes thanks to medical science advances.”
Sometimes there are tragic cases when pregnant mothers suffer life-threatening complications before their baby is viable, Francis said.
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A doctor’s duty is to save as many lives as they can without intentionally harming anyone, but sometimes the doctor cannot save everyone, she continued. In such cases, Francis said she still delivers the baby and allows the parents to hold their child until he or she dies.
“There is comfort for parents to know they gave their child a chance at life and comfort for physicians to know they are always seeking to save them both, if possible,” she told The Federalist.
The other option, the one abortion activists claim is necessary, involves killing the unborn baby first before delivering him/her – a process that takes longer and potentially puts the mother at greater risk, she explained.
Often, these emergencies occur later in pregnancy when the unborn baby is nearly fully formed and capable of feeling intense pain, and the abortion procedure involves dismembering the baby’s body and pulling it out of the womb in pieces, Francis said.
Many other medical doctors, including those who treat high risk pregnancies, also have said they never need to abort an unborn baby to save a mother’s life. These include Dr. Byron Calhoun, a high-risk OB-GYN in West Virginia, and neonatologist Dr. Kendra Kolb.
“There are also times when it may be necessary to give a pregnant mother medical treatments which may, tragically, result in the loss of the baby. It is important to understand that these treatments are not abortions,” Kolb told Live Action in 2019, citing treatments like chemotherapy that would result in a miscarriage.
Dr. Lawrence Koning, an OB-GYN in Corona, California, said much the same thing in 2016 in response to false claims by pro-abortion Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“As an OB/GYN physician for 31 years, there is no medical situation that requires aborting/killing the baby in the third trimester to ‘save the mother’s life,’” Koning responded at the time. “Just deliver the baby by C-section and the baby has 95+% survival with readily available NICU care even at 28 weeks. C-section is quicker and safer than partial birth abortion for the mother.”
Similarly, Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a radiology specialist and a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, told the Catholic News Agency that abortion, defined as the purposeful ending of a human life, is “never medically necessary.”
“In certain circumstances, lifesaving treatment that involves the early interruption of a pregnancy may be indicated,” she said. “In this case, the intent is not to end the life of the baby but to save the mother, and this intent is manifest in the fact that a physician would make every effort to preserve the life of a preterm baby where possible.”
To ensure there is no confusion and to protect mothers’ lives as well as their unborn babies’, pro-life laws that ban or restrict abortions always include exceptions for if the mother’s life is at risk.
But almost all unborn babies are aborted for unnecessary, elective reasons. In recent years, nearly 1 million unborn babies have been aborted annually in the U.S., and less than 10 percent were done because of rape, incest or physical health problems. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 7 percent of women said physical health or problems affecting the health of their unborn baby were their “most important reason” for an abortion in 2004.