One of the most common defenses of late-term abortion is the claim that in some cases, abortion is medically necessary. Lately, Americans have been hearing this claim in defense of a law in New York that allows abortions through all nine months of pregnancy. But that claim is based on faulty assumptions about the options available to women who face life-threatening pregnancy complications. The truth, known to thousands of OB-GYNs worldwide, is that there is no situation in which an abortion is medically necessary.
The false idea that late-term abortion is sometimes necessary for “health” reasons has been knit into American cultural discourse since 1973, when the Supreme Court decision in Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, introduced a definition of “health” so sweeping that it effectively eliminated all restrictions on abortion. Today, Americans are so used to hearing that abortion must be legal to protect the health of the mother that it may be difficult to fathom that there are truly no medical situations in which abortion, the direct, intentional killing of a preborn baby, is necessary to save a woman’s life.
Over a thousand OB-GYNs and maternal healthcare experts joined together to affirm this reality in the Dublin Declaration, which states: “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman. We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child. We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”
Dr. Anthony Levatino is a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist, and board member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He spent years working at Albany Medical Center, one of the top high-risk obstetrics hospitals in America. He has worked with some of the most complex pregnancy situations possible: mothers with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, rampant toxemia, and other life-threatening health issues that were exacerbated by pregnancy. These are exactly the situations that abortion advocates point to as ones in which abortion is medically necessary.
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