EWTN Catholic Q&A
life of the mother
Question from anonymous on 09-14-2012:

I argue all the time that there is not instance where a baby needs to be aborted (killed) to save the life of the mother, but am sometimes presented with specifics from pro-abortion people. In those instances I have to sometimes inform them of the principle of double effect. In order to explain this better can there be an instance where a mother's life is in danger while she is four or five months pregnant and a doctor can morally and ethically induce labor knowing full well the baby will not survive?

Answer by Judie Brown on 09-16-2012:

Dear Anonymous

The short answer to your question is no, there are not any instances where such an act is justified.

The most recent proof of this comes from a physician's meeting in Dublin, Ireland, which you can find on line at http://news.yahoo.com/medical- symposiums-findings-abortion-never-necessary-life-mother-204700608.html

As the doctors point out,

"As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion 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."