Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through
pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as
cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong,
much less save the life.
In my medical judgment, every pregnancy that is not wanted by the
patient, I feel there is a medical indication to abort a pregnancy
where it is not wanted. In good faith, I would recommend on a medical
basis, you understand, that, and it would be 100% ... I think they are
all medically necessary ... Occasionally we will advise these women to
carry their pregnancy to term, but most of these are medically
necessary because I am considering the woman's physical, mental,
emotional and social and welfare and family and environment and all
that ... I am concerned with the quality of life, not physical
Sworn testimony of abortionist Jane Hodgson.
Abortion must remain legal for those difficult cases where the
mother's life is threatened by carrying the fetus or delivering it. Such
cases are not at all uncommon. It is truly illogical to put the
interests of a potential life above those of a living, breathing woman.
Alan Guttmacher was as pro-abortion as a person can get; he did more
to spread abortion on demand throughout the world than any other
individual. Yet his activism qualified him uniquely to comment on the
rarity of true health indications for abortion and his above quote was
made a quarter of a century ago! Obviously, with all of the
advances that have been made in medicine during the intervening period,
cases in which a woman's health is threatened by her pregnancy are rarer
Opening the Door.
The Strategy. Traditionally, pro-abortionists have used a
time-honored and successful two-step strategy for enacting abortion on
demand. The first step is to get abortion legalized for the true
"hard cases" of rape and incest. The second step is to either
legalize abortion for any reason or to legalize it "for the
mother's health" which, in practice, is exactly the same as
abortion on demand.
Abortion "for the mother's health" equals abortion on
demand because, when defined by pro-abortionists, "health"
means literally anything. Many abortionists in this and other
countries use the definition of "maternal health" set by the
World Health Organization (WHO): "A state of complete physical,
mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or
Anyone who adheres to this definition, of course, can use it to
demand abortion for any reason at all.
The statutes of 46 States regulating abortion before 1965 explicitly
allowed abortion to save the life of the mother. Of the four States that
did not explicitly allow an exception for the life of the mother, State
courts found that such laws did indeed implicitly allow such an
exception. These exceptions were used if there was any doubt at all that
a mother's life would be imperiled by a continuing pregnancy;
abortionists obviously did not wait for women to reach death's door.
It was generally expected that a woman seeking an abortion to
preserve her health was in dire mental or physical condition indeed.
However, lawmakers reasoned that it was hardly moral or fair to kill an
unborn child for a chronic health problem that was induced by pregnancy
and would clear up after delivery. Therefore, before 1965,
"mother's health" was generally interpreted to mean a truly
life-threatening situation. In other words, a "mother's life"
exception was approximately equivalent to a "mother's health"
The process of pro-abortion incrementalism (abortion first for rape
and incest, then the mother's 'health') was the original plan of the
abortion strategists; however, this overall plan was cut short by the
Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.
This progression of abortion exceptions that are more and more
liberal is certainly not unique to the United States; it has been
successfully employed all over the world. Many nations that have
abortion exceptions "for the mother's health" essentially have
abortion on demand. West Germany was a prime example.
Pro-Lifers Must Oppose The
At first glance, it seems callous for anyone to oppose abortions to
preserve women's health. However, in dealing with abortionists, we must
remember that any exception whatever even a "life of the
mother" exception will eventually be expanded to mean, in practice,
abortion on demand.
Cheating the System.
The first reason pro-lifers must oppose a "health of the
mother" exception is that abortionists and unscrupulous women will
lie and cheat the system as aggressively as they can to get their
precious abortions committed. After all, what is a little
rationalization and lying for women who are determined to kill their own
children and to men who are committed to earning money by killing?
Lucinda Cisler described how women deliberately used bogus health
indications ("psychiatric games," as she calls them) to obtain
abortions before legalization in the Neofeminist "Bible" Sisterhood
is Powerful. Her article was aptly entitled "Getting an
Abortion By Hook or By Crook." Many other Neofeminist
organizations advocate this kind of deception and have promised to teach
women how to "get over" on the system if abortion is
restricted to "health of the mother" exceptions.
As early as 1960, more than half of all California abortions were
done for reasons other than maternal health. In New York State, before
1960, more than 40 percent of all abortions were performed for
By 1970 the percentage of women obtaining legal abortions for
"psychiatric indications" had more than doubled, almost to the
Dr. E. James Lieberman spoke of those states that had already
legalized abortion for the mother's "health" in 1970 when he
said that "In recent years, 90 percent of all legal abortions
performed in the United States were justified on psychiatric grounds,
since there are few physical conditions which stand in the way of normal
gestation and parturition."
Dr. Benjamin N. Branch confirmed this view as he explained that
"Until June, 1970, almost 90 percent of abortions in New York were
in fact certified as necessary to protect emotional health."
How to Lie and Cheat ...
If abortion becomes illegal again, pro-life activists will be able to
bet heavy money that a large number of immoral women will go right back
to playing their clever and deadly little "psychiatric games."
In fact, in anticipation of the drastic limiting of Roe v. Wade,
many Neofeminists began instructing women how to lie and cheat and
pretend in order to get abortions, should they be limited to 'health'
exceptions once again. An excellent and detailed example of how to lie
and cheat during an interview for an abortion was given in Lana Phelan
and Pat Maginnis' 1969 The Abortion Handbook and repeated in
Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer's 1992 A Woman's Book of Choices:
Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486;
During the interview, weep, show anger, fear, disgust, outright
destructiveness of your clothing or small objects, say, the ashtray on
his desk which can be broken on the floor or against a wall. Don't
overdo this. You will be billed for the broken things later! Don't
break the doctor's head. This is a "no-no" ... How's your
attention span? ... You can't seem to concentrate on anything for more
than a couple of minutes ... Drop sly hints that you are
"attracted" to many strange men sexually. Be dull and very
sad. Cry a bit. Just sit in silence, and make him repeat questions as
though you hadn't heard a word ... And now for the Manic Scene: Just
like the opera, ladies! Brighten up, beam like a sunrise ... let your
thoughts gallop wildly ... your speech flows like the Danube in flood
time ... you might try taking off your shoes, kicking them all the way
across his office, wriggling your toes. Then say, "That feels so
good, I think I'll take everything off ... (musingly)."
Chalker and Downer also admit that
"Another pre-Roe standby that many women employed successfully was
threatening or feigning suicide."
So-called 'doctors' who knew how to make fast bucks simply ignored
the system when abortion was illegal. Many psychiatrists still routinely
certify women for Medicaid abortions where only "life of the
mother" exceptions are paid for by saying that a pregnancy
represents a threat to her long-term mental health.
Stretching the Definition.
The second reason that pro-lifers must oppose "health of the
mother" exceptions is that abortionists stretch the definition of
"health" to cover any reason whatever.
This chicanery has been given the imprimatur of the highest
possible secular source of authority; the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court never actually stated that its purpose was to
authorize abortion on demand. However, the practical effect of its
definitions of maternal 'health' is abortion on demand in practice.
The Court defined maternal health to include "mental
health" in its United States v. Vuitch decision (402 U.S.
62, 71-72 (1971)), and expanded this to hold that virtually all
factors of any type are relevant to the mother's health, including
"physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's
age" (Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 192 (1973)).
Other judges have gone to even more ridiculous extremes in their mad
rush to prop up the abortion 'right.' Perhaps the most ridiculous
example was provided by Judge Dooling when he overturned the Hyde
Amendment. Dooling asserted on page 309 of his opinion that
"Poverty is a medical condition."
The abortionists were certainly not averse to following the Supreme
Court's definition of "health." After all, more abortions
means more bucks.
Abortionist David Zbaraz has actually claimed that all
first-trimester and most second-trimester abortions are medically
necessary since, as he alleges, they are safer than childbirth.
According to another author, "A Colorado abortion clinic
director claimed that his extensive research showed that carrying a
pregnancy to term is about 100 times more life threatening than having
an abortion. He, therefore, considered any pregnancy life-threatening
and used that as justification, certifying that the mother's life was
Dr. Jasper Williams, former president of the National Medical
Association, noted that, in 23 years of practice, he knew of only two
women who had actually died in childbirth from previously undiagnosed
causes; one of a pulmonary embolism and the other from an amniotic fluid
It is his opinion that pro-abortionists will expand even minor
conditions (such as mild varicose veins) into "threats to the
This strategy is aptly summarized by two pro-abortion doctors,
Norbert Gleicher and Uri Elkayam; "A clear definition of what
constitutes a medical indication for pregnancy interruption remains to
be established. It is our opinion that the medical advice for
termination of pregnancy has to be carefully evaluated in each patient,
taking into account a variety of factors ... objective factors,
subjective factors ... financial considerations, social considerations
... It should be recognized, however, that fetal factors should never
enter into a consideration of a "medically indicated"
Minnesota abortionist Jane Hodgson stated her case in much simpler
and more direct terms: "A medically necessary abortion is any
abortion a woman asks for."
Magnitude of the Lying.
The above quotes reflect not only theory, but practice as well. In
1986, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) issued a report (Control Number 14-60150) that
summarized the events leading to 207 Colorado and Ohio Medicaid
abortions performed to "save the life of the mother."
Intuition would tell us that an abortion performed to save a woman's
life would involve only the most extreme life-threatening physical
circumstances. Yet 179 of the 207 abortions (86 percent) "to save
the mother's life" were performed in the abortionist's offices,
which generally have no advanced medical or resuscitation equipment on
hand. Even more startling, 182 of these abortions (88%) were coded as
including "no medical complications!"
Three physicians performed 184 of these abortions (89% of the total)
and the HHS report stated that they "... said that pregnancy was
more life-endangering to a mother than an abortion, so they signed the
certifications on that basis." In other words, the abortionists
simply alleged that "childbirth is ten times more dangerous than
abortion, so abortion was obviously the way to go."
Abortionist Lise Fortier took this attitude to its extreme at the
1980 national convention of the National Abortion Federation when she
asserted that "Each and every pregnancy threatens a woman's life.
From a strict medical viewpoint, every pregnancy should be
Abortionist Michael Burnhill of the National Abortion Federation
confirmed this bizarre attitude when he said that a "life of the
mother" exception would allow him to perform all abortions he
considered "medically necessary," all those that would
preserve a "condition in which one can actively participate in
one's total life ... "
Widespread exploitation of the "mental health" dodge is not
a purely American phenomenon: Abortionists are the same the world over.
For example, of the 168,297 abortions committed in England in 1988, 92%
were for "mental health reasons" and 6.6% had no medical
condition mentioned. The person who made a determination of mental
problems was not a psychiatrist but the abortionist!
Perhaps this explains why 100% of the abortion justifications for
"mental health" were labeled either "neuroses" or
"depression," which no reputable psychiatrist or psychologist
would ever do.
Professor Myre Sim, lecturer in Psychiatry at Birmingham University,
recognized that abortionists are certainly not qualified to make
psychiatric evaluations; "I was able to demonstrate successfully
that psychiatry was competent to deal with all the psychiatric hazards
of pregnancy, and that the day that a psychiatrist required a
gynaecologist to treat his patients has not arrived."
For a detailed rebuttal to the false pro-abortion premise that
abortion is safer than childbirth, see Chapter 59, "Maternal Deaths
Due to Abortion."
Abortionists are totally committed to their cause: making lots of
money by killing preborn people. Is it any wonder, then, that they would
stretch any exception to achieve a condition that is essentially
abortion on demand?
The one truly admirable quality of the pro-abortion movement is its
absolute refusal to compromise. The pro-aborts reject limits on
third-trimester abortions, convenience abortions, and abortions for sex
selection, and they oppose even the most trivial limits on abortion
activity, such as parental involvement, informed consent, clinic
licensing, and decent burial of aborted babies.
The pro-abortion strategists must adopt this 'no-compromise' position
because they correctly recognize the threat of a 'reverse slippery
slope;' i.e., if they let go of abortion in even the most apparently
trivial cases, pro-lifers will use this weakness to destroy abortion on
We in the pro-life movement, then, must also assume an absolutist
posture if we are to have any hope of victory. We must reject any type
of compromise when dealing with the lives of preborn babies. After all,
it is not us who will be burned, scalded, and torn apart.
The 'health of the mother' exception is the most dangerous exception
According to those who should know the best the abortionists
themselves no more than two percent of all abortions are performed
for what is called "clinically identifiable health reasons,"
and much less than one percent are performed to save the mother's
The Experts Speak.
Many abortionists and other experts have acknowledged that abortions
to save a mother's life or to preserve her health are extremely rare
indeed. The experts have testified as follows;
Anyone who performs a therapeutic abortion is either ignorant of
modern medical methods or unwilling to take the time and effort to
Roy Heffernan, Tufts University Medical
School. Quoted in Thomas J. O'Donnell's Morals in Medicine.
Westminster, Maryland: Newman Press, 1960. Page 159.
Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through
pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as
cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong,
much less save the life.
Alan Guttmacher. "Abortion Yesterday,
Today, and Tomorrow." The Case for Legalized Abortion Now.
Berkeley: Diablo Books, 1967, page 9.
There is now general agreement that pregnancy does not alter the
natural history of disease, so that, provided a woman survives the
immediate challenge, neither her health nor her life-expectancy is
John F. Murphy, M.D. and Diernan O'Driscoll,
M.D. "Therapeutic Abortion: The Medical Argument." Irish
Medical Journal, August 1982, pages 304 to 306.
The situation where the mother's life is at stake were she to
continue a pregnancy is no longer a clinical reality. Given the state
of modern medicine, we can now manage any pregnant woman with any
medical affliction successfully, to the natural conclusion of the
pregnancy: the birth of a healthy child.
Bernard Nathanson, M.D. Written statement to
the Idaho House of Representatives' State Affairs Committee, February
16, 1990. Also quoted in "Exceptions: Abandoning "The Least of
These My Brethren."" American Life League booklet, 1991. Page
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on
the Constitution of the United States Senate on October 14, 1981, Dr.
Irving Cushner, Professor of Obstetrics at the UCLA School of Medicine,
was asked by one of the Senators how often abortions are necessary to
save the life of the mother or to insure her physical health.
Dr. Cushner, who is strongly pro-abortion, answered, "In this
country, about one percent."
The Actual Percentage of
Abortions Performed for the Health of the Mother.
Reporting the reasons for abortions is largely voluntary in countries
where abortion has been legal for an extended period of time. However,
the few studies that do include reasons for abortions show that
abortions for genuine health threats to the mother account for less
than one percent of all abortions! This data exactly confirms the
statement given by Dr. Cushner to the United States Senate, as described
The following paragraphs describe some of these studies and their
conclusions, and discuss the impacts of the cutoff of Medicaid funding
for abortions performed to 'safeguard the woman's health.'
The Louisiana Study.
Louisiana abortionists must fill out a form entitled "Report of
Induced Termination of Pregnancy" (Form #PHS 16-ab) for every
abortion he performs. The form warns at the top that "Failure to
complete and file this form is a crime."
Item 9d on this form is entitled "Reason for Pregnancy
The Office of Public Health of the Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals compiles these statistics. Over the 14-year period 1975 to
1988, 202,135 abortions were performed in Louisiana. Of these, the
reasons were listed for 115,243 of them.
The reasons for these abortions are listed below;
REPORTED REASONS FOR LOUISIANA ABORTIONS
•Mother's mental health 114,231 (99.12%)
•Mother's physical health 863 ( 0.75%)
•Fetal deformity 103 ( 0.09%)
•Rape or incest 46 ( 0.04%)
It is very significant indeed that more than 99 percent of all
abortions performed in Louisiana are for "mental health"
reasons, and less than one percent (one out of 134) abortions are
performed for genuine physical health complications.
The United Kingdom Studies.
A total of 358,074 abortions were reported in the United Kingdom for
the years 1987 and 1988. Of these, a total of 966 were performed for a
"specified medical disorder," i.e., a perceived serious health
threat to the mother.
This is a total of 0.24% (one-fourth of one percent), or one
pregnancy in 416.
Another study of maternal health was performed at the Republic of
Ireland's National Maternity Hospital, the largest facility of its kind
in Europe. During the ten-year period 1970 to 1979, this hospital was
the scene of 74,317 deliveries at more than 28 weeks' gestation. 21 of
these women died. Of these 21, seven died of reasons not associated with
childbirth, 11 died as a result of unforeseen circumstances (and which
therefore would not have been corrected by abortion), and three were a
result of chronic diseases that deteriorated during the pregnancy.
Therefore, exactly 3 of 74,317 delivering women a total of less
than one-one hundredth of one percent lost their lives as a result
of their pregnancies at a hospital that had experience in managing the
health of pregnant women.
Remember that abortion was completely illegal in the Republic of
Ireland at this time, and so women were not able to get abortions for
health reasons and therefore artificially lower the maternal death rate
for those women who decided to give birth.
The Mount Sinai Study.
There were a total of 57,228 deliveries at New York's Mount Sinai
Hospital from 1953 to 1964. During the same time period, 69 abortions
were performed for physical health reasons: 24 cardiac, 12 renal, 9 each
for pulmonary and gastrointestinal, and 15 for miscellaneous conditions.
The study managers admitted in a journal article that the true degree
of risk to the mother's health was not assessed in most cases; if there
was any doubt whatever about the mother's health, they performed the
abortions as a safeguard. The authors also failed to comment upon the
impact (favorable or otherwise) that the abortions had on the women's
diseases or conditions.
Even accounting for the author's extremely permissive attitudes about
abortion for the mother's health, the total rate of abortions performed
to safeguard health in this study was one-eighth of one percent, or one
in 830 pregnancies!
As in the Republic of Ireland, abortion was not legal in New York
State during this time period, and so the rate of maternal health
problems at Mount Sinai Hospital was not artificially deflated by the
availability of abortion.
Medicaid Abortion Funding.
Aside from exhaustive studies, the best indicator of the number of
abortions actually performed for valid health reasons is reflected in
changes in both federal and state Medicaid abortion funding standards
and the resulting changes in numbers of abortions funded.
Until October 1, 1977, the federal government funded abortions for
the life of the mother, for rape and incest, and for the 'health of the
mother.' After this date, the Hyde Amendment allowed the government to
drop funding for the 'health' exception, while retaining funding for the
The results were truly dramatic. In Fiscal Year 1977, before the Hyde
Amendment took effect, the Federal taxpayer was coerced into funding
294,600 abortions. With the new restrictions, the Federal government
only paid for 2,100 abortions in Fiscal Year 1978 a decrease of 99.3
In other words, bogus 'health' reasons had been used to obtain all
but a tiny handful of federally-funded abortions before the Hyde
Amendment took effect.
On the state level, the best example of such a precipitous drop was
presented by Illinois, which paid for 23,209 abortions in 1976,
primarily for the 'health of the mother.' The state paid for exactly 12
abortions in 1983, after courts upheld a 1977 state law banning the use
of state money for abortions unless medically necessary to save the
woman's life. This meant that 99.95 percent of all abortions
performed in Indiana prior to the cutoff in funding were committed for
reasons not related to maternal health!
Teenage Birth Complications.
One of the most pitiful 'hard cases' employed by pro-abortionists to
get and keep abortion on demand is the young, unmarried teenaged girl
who becomes pregnant as a result of fornication, or, in extremely rare
cases, incest or rape. Pro-aborts allege that pregnancy is extremely
dangerous for younger girls, and, in fact, some leaders of the movement
have demanded that abortion be mandatory for teenaged girls!
For example, Minnesota abortionist Jane Hodgson said at the 1980
National Abortion Federation conference; "Is adolescent pregnancy a
disease? We have laws regarding other epidemics. We have mandatory
immunizations, but we have no law prohibiting motherhood before the age
of 14 in our supposedly-civilized society. We ought to mandate against
continuing pregnancy in the very young say, those less than 14
Despite all of this pro-abortion puffery, several studies show that
pregnancy and childbirth for younger girls is much safer than for older
The most comprehensive study every performed on the physical and
mental effects of childbirth on teenagers found that teenaged girls had
the least complications from childbirth of any age group of childbearing
The four-year study conducted by the National Institute of Child
Health Development (NICHD) and the University of Pennsylvania was based
upon the case histories of 9,000 women who had given birth in a
Chief researcher Dr. Brian Sutton-Smith stated that "We have
found that teen-age mothers, given proper care, have the least
complications in childbirth. The younger the mother, the better the
birth." Dr. Sutton-Smith also reviewed other studies that came
to different conclusions, and stated that these "obscured the
findings" by deliberately including a large proportion of teenagers
living in deep poverty and comparing them to older, more affluent women.
It is important to remember that pro-abortion researchers generally
have no qualms about "cooking the numbers" if such unethical
activities will support the desired results.
Unwanted Pregnancy = 'Unhealth.'
In the final analysis, an unwanted pregnancy has evolved until it is
medically, legally, and ethically equal to a "threat to the
physical health of the mother." We have been lectured by the
pro-abortionists for years now that an unwanted pregnancy is, by
definition, a threat to a woman's health.
However, a quarter-century ago, when pro-abortion scientists tended
to be more truthful, Professor Edward Pohlman of Planned Parenthood
stated that "In early 1966, the present writer attended a
conference at which the Population Crisis Committee was trying to
persuade certain groups within the National Institute of Health to give
greater priority to family planning in their mental health programs. The
writer and others found it somewhat embarrassing to have to confess that
there was little clear evidence that unwanted conceptions were in a
worse light than other conceptions."
This principle was confirmed recently by Dr. Carlos del Campose, who
surveyed the literature on the subject of children born to women refused
abortion for various reasons and concluded; "Thus, the literature
shows a generally comparable outcome of pregnancy, delivery and
puerperium [the period between women who were denied abortion and
controls; no evidence that a continued unwanted pregnancy will endanger
the mother's mental health; good acceptance of the infant by the mother,
especially if she has the father's support; and minimal to moderate
psychosocial disadvantages for the child."
These researchers, and many others, have decisively debunked the
pro-abortion idea that an unwanted pregnancy will place undue mental or
physical stress on women. Even abortionists concede that most women with
unwanted pregnancies will, upon giving birth, be relieved that they did
Veteran British abortionist Aleck Bourne, who confesses to having
committed over 5,000 abortions, has said that "I have never known a
woman who, when her baby was born, was not overjoyed I had not killed
Conditions that Do Not Require Abortion.
The complete list of all conditions that may still endanger a
pregnant woman's life is extremely short. These conditions include acute
heart and kidney diseases and advanced hypertensive diseases.
Figure 51-1 shows the various diseases that are rarely
indications for abortion.
DISEASES AND DISORDERS THAT ARE RARELY INDICATIONS FOR ABORTION
Central nervous system cancer
Gastrointestinal tract cancer
Leukemia and lymphoma
Connective Tissue Diseases
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Endocrine System Diseases
Congenital heart disease
Coronary artery disease
Hypertensive heart disease
Rheumatic heart disease
Kidney/Urinary Tract Diseases
Acute renal failure
Urinary tract infections/calculi
Nervous System Diseases
Cerebral vascular accidents
Skin Diseases (all)
Reference: Denis Cavanagh, M.D., Professor
of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Florida College of
Medicine. "Medical Treatment for Pregnant Women." Restoring
the Right to Life: The Human Life Amendment. 1984: Brigham Young
University Press, Table 3, pages 139 to 141.
The Catholic Church and many other religions, both liberal and
conservative, recognize the principle of the "double effect."
Simply stated, this means that any treatment administered to save a
woman's life that also results in the death of a preborn child is
not a true abortion, since the primary purpose of the treatment was to
save a life not take it. Even if the death of the baby is a foregone
conclusion, such an action is not classifiable as an abortion.
Some of the treatments that may indirectly kill a preborn child
include certain cancer treatments; hysterectomy (removal) of a cancerous
or severely traumatized uterus; and salpingectomy (the removal of a
The most common application of the "double effect" occurs
in the case of a tubal pregnancy when the embryo implants in the
Fallopian tube, instead of completing its journey to the uterus.
Such implantation is inevitably fatal to the woman if her pregnancy
progresses too far.
It is quite possible for a baby to implant virtually anywhere in the
mother's abdominal cavity and survive. Recently, a mother gave birth to
a perfectly healthy baby boy who had somehow migrated out of a rupture
in the uterus and had implanted in the vicinity of her stomach.
The surgical procedure used to remedy this situation is fairly simple
to describe. The surgeon first must use ultrasonography to diagnose the
unruptured tubal pregnancy. He then inserts a laparoscope (small camera
with light) through an incision in the abdominal wall and locates the
distended fallopian tube. He then laterally incises the tube and
suctions out the embryo.
Legally and medically, then, this procedure is the same as a typical
suction abortion. Morally, however, it is different in several critical
ways. In the majority of cases, the pregnancy is wanted. And, most
importantly, the intent of the surgical procedure is to save life, not
In the future, doctors hope to be able to remove the embryo intact
and transfer it to the uterus, where it will be successfully implanted.
All pro-life groups (including Catholic organizations) concede that
such procedures are necessary.
References: Health Indications for Abortion.
 Alan Guttmacher. "Abortion Yesterday, Today, and
Tomorrow." The Case for Legalized Abortion Now. Berkeley:
Diablo Books, 1967, page 3.
 Abortionist Jane Hodgson, Transcript, August 3, 1977. at 99-101, McRae
v. Califano, 491 F.Supp. 630 (E.D.N.Y. 1980), rev'd sub nom.
Harris v. McRae. 100 S. Ct. 2671 (1980).
 Jodi L. Jacobson. "Coming to Grips With Abortion."
Pages 114 to 131. In the Worldwatch Institute's State of the World
1991 Report. W.W. Norton Publishers, London, 1991. Also issued as
Worldwatch Paper #97, The Global Politics of Abortion.
 Lucinda Cisler. "Unfinished Business: Birth Control and
Women's Liberation." Sisterhood is Powerful (Robin Morgan,
editor). New York: Vintage Books, 1970. Page 269.
 Ralph J. Campbell and H.J. Packer. Stanford Law Review,
May 1959, page 7.
 E. James Lieberman, M.D. "Abortion Counseling," and
Benjamin N. Branch, M.D. "Counseling in Abortion Services."
Sarah Lewit (Editor). Abortion Techniques and Services: Proceedings
of the Conference, New York, N.Y., June 3-5, 1971. Amsterdam:
Excerpta Medica, 1972.
 Quoted from Lana Phelan and Pat Maginnis. The Abortion
Handbook. North Hollywood, California: Contact Books, 1969, pages
111 to 115. Also quoted in Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer. A
Woman's Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486.
Four Walls Eight Windows Press, Post Office 548, Village Station, New
York, New York 10014. 1992, 271 pages. Suicide quote is on page 43.
 "Judge Dooling, the Hyde Amendment, and the New Bill That
Would Limit the Courts." ALL About Issues, January 1980,
 Zbaraz v. Quern, No. 77-C4522 (N.D. Ill, Memo Opinion,
June 13, 1978).
 "Are Exception Clauses Pro-Life?" ALL About Issues,
July-August 1987. Pages 25 and 26.
 Summary of the MacNeil/Lehrer Report of April 22, 1980, entitled
"Medicaid Abortion." Human Life Review, Summer 1980,
 Norbert Gleicher, M.D., and Uri Elkayam, M.D., editors.
"Birth Control and Abortion in the Cardiac Patient." Cardiac
Problems in Pregnancy: Diagnosis and Management of Maternal and Fetal
Disease. New York: Alan R. Liss, Inc., Publishers, 1982. Page 307.
 Abortionist Jane Hodgeson, quoted in Human Life International Special
Report Number 83, August 1991, pages 6 and 7.
 Dr. Lise Fortier at the 1980 national convention of the National
Abortion Federation. Quoted in Andrew Scholberg. "The Abortionists
and Planned Parenthood: Familiar Bedfellows." International
Review of Natural Family Planning, Winter 1980, page 308.
 Abortionist Michael Burnhill of the National Abortion Federation
on the April 22, 1980 "MacNeil/Lehrer Report." Quoted in
"Exceptions: Abandoning "The Least of These My
Brethren."" American Life League booklet, 1991. Page 24.
 Professor Myre Sim, lecturer in Psychiatry at Birmingham
University. Association of Lawyers for the Defence of the Unborn,
London, Newsletter No. 29, Spring 1986.
 Hearings on Bills Proposing a Constitutional Amendment With
Respect to Abortion Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary. 97th Congress, 1st Session, pages 158
 Village Voice, July 16, 1985.
 D.B. Paintin, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St.
Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, England. "Late
Abortions." The Lancet, November 11, 1989. No. 8672:1158.
 Her Majesty's Safety Officer, Office of Population Censuses and
Surveys. Abortion Statistics 1988, page 60. Quoted in
"Submission by Dr. G.T. Gardner, M.R.C.G.P., to the General Medical
Council Preliminary Proceedings Committee, May 7th, 1992."
 J.J. Rovinsky and S.B. Gusberg. American Journal of
Obstetrics and Gynecology, 98:11-17 (1967).
 Frontline Updates. "Illinois State-Paid Abortions Drop to
Twelve." National Right to Life News, August 16, 1984, page
 Abortionist Jane Hodgson at the May 28-30, 1980 National
Abortion Federation conference in Washington, D.C. Quoted by Mary Meehan
and Elizabeth Moore. "Forced Abortion Suggested at Clinic Owner's
Conference." National Right to Life News, June 2, 1980,
pages 1 and 13.
 The New York Times, April 24, 1979, page C5.
 Professor Edward Pohlman, Social Science Committee of the
Planned Parenthood Federation of American. "Unwanted Conception:
Research on Desirable Consequences." Eugenics Quarterly,
Volume 14, Number 2, 1967.
 Carlos Del Campos, M.D. "Abortion Denied Outcome of Mothers
and Babies." Canadian Medical Association Journal, February
15, 1984, pages 361 and 362.
 Abortionist Aleck Bourne, M.D. Quoted by James Wilkinson,
"A Doctor Speaks." London [England] Express, January
 Bernard M. Nathanson and Richard N. Ostling. Aborting America.
Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1979, pages 244 to 247.
 J.C. Willke. "Tubal Pregnancies and Life of the
Mother." National Right to Life News, November 19, 1987,
Further Reading: Health Indications for Abortion.
Colleen D. Clements. Medical Genetics Casebook: A Clinical
Introduction to Medical Ethics Systems Theory.
Humana Press, Crescent Manor, Post Office Box 2148, Clifton, New
Jersey 07015. 1982, 233 pages. The author examines 130 actual case
studies from a medical genetics program and attempts to apply systems
theory to come up with a general decisionmaking process that allow
hospital and other bioethicists to make decisions in difficult cases.
The cases cover the gamut, including selective abortions and
Father John Connery, S.J. Abortion: The Development of the
Roman Catholic Perspective.
Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1977. Hardcover. Order from: Life
Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703)
586-4898. This study traces the entire history of the Roman Catholic
doctrine regarding abortion from the beginning of the Christian era to
modern times. Particular attention is given to the controversy and
confusion within the Church regarding abortion to save the life of the
Norbert Gleicher, M.D., and Uri Elkayam, M.D. (editors).
"Birth Control and Abortion in the Cardiac Patient."
In Cardiac Problems in Pregnancy: Diagnosis and Management of Maternal
and Fetal Disease. New York: Alan R. Liss, Inc., Publishers, 1982.
Professor Charles E. Rice. No Exceptions: A Pro-Life Imperative.
Tyholland Press, Box 212, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556. 1990, 131 pages. A
truly outstanding examination of the basic pro-life moral arguments
against abortion. Pro-life direct and support activities are also
described in some detail. Recommended for all new pro-life activists,
and those veterans who want to redefine and sharpen their debating
© American Life League BBS - 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia
published by American Life League.