Wednesday, June 11, 2014

13-Year-Old Girl in UK Forced by Judge to Have an Abortion

According to this article in the Huffington Post, a 13-year-old girl in the UK was ordered by a judge to have an abortion, which has since been carried out. The girl is mentally disabled and said to have the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. In spite of her very clear indications that she did not want an abortion and the testimony of a professional psychiatrist that an abortion would be emotionally damaging for her and that she would see it as an assault, the judge ruled that an abortion was in her best interest. In his words: "Leaving to one side her own wishes and feelings, the preponderance of all the evidence is clear that it would be in her best interests to have a termination."

So now it's not even about a woman's choice, I guess. Now that we have defined the unborn to be non-persons and made it legally and socially acceptable to kill them at will, our society now sees killing an unborn child as health care for the mother and of no more significance than of pulling a tooth or having an appendix removed. Is it any wonder, then, that a judge would rule that forcing a young teen to have an abortion against her will is in her best interest? Is it any wonder that her conscience, in not wanting to kill her child, was ignored?

If the unborn are not persons, then not only should we ignore the rights of the unborn child, but we should also ignore any ideas people might have about the humanity of the unborn. A young woman's conscience (i.e. "wishes and feelings") being opposed to abortion must be just superstition and shouldn't be taken into account in deciding what is best for her. That is the logic we are seeing here.

This isn't the first such case either. For example, there have been similar cases of mentally disabled women forced or nearly forced to have abortions by judges in January of 2012 in Massachusetts, November of 2012 in Nevada, and January of 2013 in London.

In a culture where dehumanizing the unborn is so common, it is no surprise to see a shift toward forced abortion as people see less and less reason to value and protect life. All this talk of "choice" contributes to the idea that abortion is just an ordinary choice. So if the courts can decide what is best for a child or disabled person in other matters, why not decide for them whether they should have an abortion? Why not "choose" abortion for those deemed incapable of choice for themselves? If abortion is just a choice, that's what logically follows, and we can expect to see a lot more women forced to abort in the future.

Abortion for the Life of the Mother?

One of the most common arguments brought up with regard to keeping abortion legal is the life of the mother. Whenever anyone says that abortion should be illegal, the immediate response from the pro-abortion side is "What about abortions to save the life of the mother?" They seem to think that making abortion illegal places women at risk. However, the life of the mother argument is not a good argument for keeping all abortion legal.

First, we would like to make it clear that we are unconvinced that abortion is ever necessary to save the life of anyone. In fact, there is good reason to think that direct abortion is never a necessary treatment for any condition of the mother. (See statements from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists here, here, and especially here.)

However, we are open to the possibility of terminating a pregnancy to save a woman's life. If several doctors independently agree that it is absolutely necessary to end a pregnancy, otherwise the mother will die, then the mother should be treated to save her life. Some might call this abortion, though the intent differs from elective abortion in that the death of the child is not the primary objective. We don't consider such life-saving procedures abortions. Abortion involves the intentional killing of the unborn child as its main purpose and is not simply removing a fetus or ending a pregnancy (that's called birth or C-section). Thus, a procedure that removes a child from the womb for the purpose of preserving the mother's life is not the same thing as abortion, even if the child dies as a result.

In discussing this issue, several points come to mind:

1. Most abortions do not fall into this category.

2. Doctors should be required to recognize that with a pregnant woman they have two patients, and every effort should be made to save both of them.

3. If the pregnancy is causing complications, an induction or C-section with the intent to save the child's life should be performed instead of an abortion, if at all possible.

4. In many ectopic pregnancies (due to the location of implantation), the unborn child has no chance of survival anyway. So save the person you can - the mother.

5. In many cases where the life of the mother is endangered, the unborn child will not survive if the mother dies. So in those cases, it only makes sense to save the mother. The death of the child is not an intended result in such cases, but a by-product of saving the mother's life.

6. In many cases where abortion is claimed to be for the life of the mother, it is really to protect doctors. For example, a pregnant woman with cancer may be advised to have an abortion and then start chemotherapy. The idea is that chemo is dangerous to the child and so the mother should get an abortion before starting treatment. However, in these cases it is the cancer threatening the mother's life, not the pregnancy. And doctors are usually advising abortion so that they aren't sued for harming the baby by giving chemo to a pregnant woman. But if the unborn child is a human being (and he is), then it is never okay to kill him to prevent a risk of injury to him. That's like shooting someone because he is at risk for a heart attack. The "cure" (abortion) is worse than the disease (possible birth defect or death). That isn't medicine; that's doctors covering their own tails. The proper way to handle these situations is to consider both patients and work to do the least harm. Early delivery may be the best solution. Having the mother undergo chemo, even while pregnant, may be necessary (even if it causes the death of the child). The best decision may vary, depending on the individual case. But it is not necessary to purposely kill the baby in order to treat the mother.

7. The proposal for these "life of the mother abortions" should originate from an actual doctor, not someone in an abortion mill (like Planned Parenthood), nor from the patient (in order to avoid to avoid doctor shopping for an abortion). For instance, a cancer patient does not shop around for a doctor who will prescribe chemotherapy. He goes do a doctor who then prescribes chemotherapy if it is necessary to save the patient’s life. Remember, we're talking about a medical decision which is designed to save the life of the mother. That should be the original and primary intention – not an abortion. An actual abortion should be a last resort, and employed only when it is the only way to save the mother’s life.

8. In general, the purpose should not be to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. We're talking about necessary steps to save the life of the mother which may, unfortunately, result in the death of her unborn child.

9. This life of the mother exception does not, in any way, justify elective abortions or abortion on demand. So most abortions should be illegal.