What about “the life of the mother?”
Since we are both pro-woman and pro-life, we refuse to choose between women and children.
Sometimes doctors advise abortion because they are unaware of other options or because they are pressured by fear of malpractice suits. We believe that physicians and other medical personnel should treat both patients and do what they can to save both lives.
This is what was done before the Roe decision was handed down.
Thankfully, medical advancements continue to save more lives. Situations in which the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother are extremely rare. Late-term abortions are never medically necessary. Emergency C-sections are often the medically appropriate response to save both mother and child. Viability at this stage of the child’s development is generally very good, especially with advances in neonatal care. Babies who weigh just under a pound are surviving!
As for first-trimester scenarios, most are to save the mother from ectopic (“out of place”) pregnancies, which typically occur in the Fallopian tube. Surgeries for ectopic pregnancies are not medically classified as abortions. Since the child has no chance of survival, and the mother can survive if the pregnancy is ended, we must do what we can to save her. To let both die would not be pro-life. At this time uterine transplants to re-implant the baby into the womb are not possible. (But if this becomes a viable option, it would have enormous ramifications for the entire abortion debate, since becoming un-pregnant would not be the same as having an abortion!)
Finally, there are issues related to mental health. While pregnancy can be a stressful experience and sometimes bring on or exacerbate depression, psychological stress should not be “treated” by abortion. Psychiatrists and psychologists need to treat mental health issues directly.
Pro-life feminists are committed to protecting the lives of both women and unborn children. We call for honesty, accuracy and compassion in considering “the life of the mother”—with a focus, always, on life-affirming solutions.
– Serrin Foster, FFL President