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Is this considered an abortion?


staceyobu
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By whose standards? A specific state's/country's laws? The Catholic church? Medically?

 

I'd say "no". It's not an abortion in the sense that most people use the term "abortion" for terminating a pregnancy with emphasis on an unwanted pregnancy or non-viable pregnancy. It's not a deliberate act to abort the pregnancy, or at least the priority isn't on the pregnancy but rather the life of the mother. I think, medically, it might be termed "abortion", though.

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It might depend on whom you ask. I would not consider it an abortion, provided the procedure to deliver the baby was not a procedure that makes survival impossible. It is unlikely the baby could survive, but not completely impossible.

 

That said, I do not believe it's wrong to save the physical life of a mother by ending her fetus's life, provided there is no realistic way to save both.

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By whose standards? A specific state's/country's laws? The Catholic church? Medically?

 

I'd say "no". It's not an abortion in the sense that most people use the term "abortion" for terminating a pregnancy with emphasis on an unwanted pregnancy or non-viable pregnancy. It's not a deliberate act to abort the pregnancy, or at least the priority isn't on the pregnancy but rather the life of the mother. I think, medically, it might be termed "abortion", though.

 

 

I guess I'm curious about legally. If abortion was to be completely illegal, would it have an effect on cases like this?

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The medical term for miscarriage is "spontaneous abortion" . I don't think you can get around calling any early end to pregnancy anything else. Most people think of it as just the medical intervention, but it is a general medical term.

 

I suspect if abortion by medical professionals were banned the intervention described to save the mother's life would be banned. "medically necessary" becomes mucky and messy term.

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I guess I'm curious about legally. If abortion was to be completely illegal, would it have an effect on cases like this?

 

 

In the US? I've heard of no serious proposal anywhere in the US that would make abortion illegal in a case like this.

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I guess I'm curious about legally. If abortion was to be completely illegal, would it have an effect on cases like this?

 

 

Probably yes.

Just look at the recent case of the woman who died in Ireland last fall from blood poisoning. She was already in the process of miscarrying in her 17th week; the doctors would not abort the dying fetus to save the mother's life.

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I can't think of anything that is ever "completely illegal" in the US. The laws are full of definitions and exceptions that get you out of the scope of the law in cases where the alternative isn't considered acceptable to most Americans.

 

I don't think it is helpful to compare with other countries on a matter so culturally different.

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In your hypothetical case, what happens to the baby after being born? Are efforts, and resources provided to try to keep him alive? Or is he left to die on a table? If you induce the mother, chances are the baby will be born alive but with no chances of survival. Most hospitals will not provide the necessities of life to an 18weeks foetus, thus turning this situation into an abortion,

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As a mom for whom this was not hypothetical, it depends legally on what procedure is done. My son was 1 week past the legal point of viability in my state, and therefore, they had to attempt to deliver alive, even knowing that he was unlikely to survive. At the time, I just wanted the hope and was clinging to it-it wasn't until later on that I realized just how dangerous a c-section was in that situation and how, legally, my doctors were forced to place my life more at risk for what was literally a one in a million chance of survival for the baby. I'm not sure I wouldn't have made the same choice to give my son a chance of life-but it made me furious that the decision was made by the state legislature, not my husband and I after talking with the doctors, our pastor, the hospital chaplain, etc.

 

And I will also say-I don't think the survivor's guilt I still struggle with would have been any greater or less either way. Despite being told that it wasn't my fault, that I couldn't have changed the outcome, and so on, I still feel guilty. The single thing that helped most was my perinatologist pulling my file and showing me that the hospital already had filed for a court order to force me to stay in the hospital and deliver that baby if I'd tried to leave AMA-I was at that much risk.

 

And yes, this is a fear of mine if the make abortion illegal. I've heard too many politicians basically claim such situations don't exist to believe that they'd keep in mind that pregnancies can go from great to horrible in a matter of hours, and that it happens, even to 29 yr old professional women with graduate degrees, good health insurance, and no known risk factors. I have a friend, also a HELLP survivor who currently has no health insurance-and one of her greatest fears is a birth control failure-because she cannot afford the kind of monitoring and support, or the hospitalization and care potentially needed for her and the baby.

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In your hypothetical case, what happens to the baby after being born? Are efforts, and resources provided to try to keep him alive? Or is he left to die on a table? If you induce the mother, chances are the baby will be born alive but with no chances of survival. Most hospitals will not provide the necessities of life to an 18weeks foetus, thus turning this situation into an abortion,

 

I think you're right that most hospitals won't provide life support that involves medical intervention, but they should still provide warmth, comfort, etc. so the baby is allowed to live or die as God intends. If the baby manages to breathe on her own for a while, then interventions such as IV feeding might be called for. Letting a baby die because it is not able to breathe on its own is not an abortion IMO. That's more like a DNR that you might put on any child (or adult) with a terminal disease.

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I think you're right that most hospitals won't provide life support that involves medical intervention, but they should still provide warmth, comfort, etc. so the baby is allowed to live or die as God intends. If the baby manages to breathe on her own for a while, then interventions such as IV feeding might be called for. Letting a baby die because it is not able to breathe on its own is not an abortion IMO. That's more like a DNR that you might put on any child (or adult) with a terminal disease.

 

And, FWIW, that's exactly what happened with my son-he was provided warmth and support-but his little lungs simply weren't mature enough to breathe. Legally, he was born alive-but not for long enough for me to even come out of the anesthesia. This was in a Baptist hospital with a Catholic doctor-they would have saved him if they could have done so.

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I guess I'm curious about legally. If abortion was to be completely illegal, would it have an effect on cases like this?

 

Yes, it would.

 

Our medical insurance is through the military. Federal dollars are not allowed to pay for any form of abortion. I had a friend who was pregnant with fraternal triplets. One of them died in utero and needed to be removed for the safety of the other two. They could not have the procedure at the military hospital, and they had to pay for the procedure out of pocket because it was still considered an abortion.

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...the hospital already had filed for a court order to force me to stay in the hospital and deliver that baby if I'd tried to leave AMA-I was at that much risk.

 

See, this would bug me more than the arbitrary time limit of the abortion law. Why is it OK for anyone to tell a woman she's not allowed to walk out of a hospital when she chooses to?

 

It varies by state of course, but when my sister was about 22 weeks along, the ER doc had no problem deciding to do a D&C when he thought (incorrectly) that my sister was miscarrying. Luckily someone had the sense to do an ultrasound first, and baby G is alive to tell about it.

 

I actually think some of these issues in actual practice arise because doctors themselves have different philosophies and experiences. And no law is going to change that IMO.

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In your hypothetical case, what happens to the baby after being born? Are efforts, and resources provided to try to keep him alive? Or is he left to die on a table? If you induce the mother, chances are the baby will be born alive but with no chances of survival. Most hospitals will not provide the necessities of life to an 18weeks foetus, thus turning this situation into an abortion,

If the baby did manage to breathe on its own (highly unlikely at that fetal age), only comfort care would be provided. The age of viability in generally considered 24 weeks here. A baby needs to reach that in order to do more than just put it in a warm incubator. The hospital staff does try to inform the parents that the likelihood of survival at 24 weeks is somewhere between slim and none.

 

At 25 weeks, babies have better odds, and more aggressive measures would be taken to try and keep them alive. 18 weeks has no chance of survival. And it's really no better at 21 weeks.

 

Any medical procedure performed to terminate a pregnancy is an abortion. A miscarried pregnancy is also an abortion (albeit spontaneous) and will be noted in your records as such. So I'm not quite sure what you mean by your question, OP.

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It is a type of medically induced abortion. It was also legal to have a medically necessary abortion as in that case before Roe v Wade. I don't believe that it will ever be illegal. Maybe a rogue doctor might refuse to do something he is ordered by law to do, but legally it has been and should always be available when the mothers health is in jeapordy.

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Yes, it would.

 

Our medical insurance is through the military. Federal dollars are not allowed to pay for any form of abortion. I had a friend who was pregnant with fraternal triplets. One of them died in utero and needed to be removed for the safety of the other two. They could not have the procedure at the military hospital, and they had to pay for the procedure out of pocket because it was still considered an abortion.

 

I'm not sure I understand why this would be considered an abortion. The baby died on its own. The other two babies were not supposed to be harmed. How is this an abortion?

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Some who are pro-life are against all abortions - even those in your scenario.

Some who are pro-life are against all except when the life of the mother is at risk. It would be a judgement call as to when the mother crossed into this category, one not without legal risk if the mother was later deemed "not sick enough". We all love to think that we'd wait until the last minute, but exactly when that moment is would not be an easy call to make.

Some who are pro-life are against all except when the life or health of the mother is at risk. Some feel that "health" would cover too many cases, and prefer the stricter "life" restriction.

Other complex situations include problems with the baby - conditions incompatible with life outside the womb.

The majority of moms I know who lean pro-choice feel that these judgement calls are best made by the mother, ideally in consultation with the father, their clergy, etc. They feel that they cannot make these decisions for someone else, especially if they have not walked in those shoes.

It scares me when I hear politicians brush aside concerns about complex scenarios, claiming they are so rare there is no need to consider them. Because they do happen, and there are hard choices to be made, one way or another.

 

I've read testimonies of late-term abortion, in which the family had been told that should their baby, who had very serious medical issues, be delivered, the hospital would be forced by the law in their state to use every means possible to save the baby's life - a DNR would not be an option. Because they did not want their baby to suffer with no chance of any kind of quality of life, they prayerfully went the abortion route. I'm sure that's not the result the legislature intended.

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I'm just wondering where issues like this fit into pro-choice vs pro-life movements. I know a miscarriage is classified as a spontaneous abortion... but it can't possibly be made illegal. Would my scenario fall under "an abortion for the mother's health" or "an induced preterm delivery".

 

I would say the baby in my hypothetical scenario would at a very least be provided comfort measures and heroic measures if it looked like there was a possibility they would help (rather than just causing the baby greater trauma).

 

If the baby is forcibly delivered and the mother is not in pre-term labor and delivering on her own...medically speaking, it is an abortion. The fetus is not viable, no heroic measures would be performed at all on a 21 week old fetus. The baby would be wrapped in a blanket and handed to the parents for as long as they wanted to hold and bond with the child...even after it expired. It would not be illegal under any conditions if it were necessary to preserve the life and health of the mother. HELLP syndrome meets those conditions.

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I'm just wondering when they talk about abortion for the health of the mother if it includes instances such as this.

 

 

I'm wondering how on earth we could ever decide who is qualified to judge in cases like this. The doctor? A judge? Really, if the choice is not to be made by the woman and her doctor, then who?

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Several posters have shared their pro-choice views, so I will add my perspective as someone who is unapologetically and unequivocally pro-life.

 

I would personally think through the situation you described in this way: If the mother of a newborn infant was in a life-threatening situation which was somehow exacerbated by the existence of her child, I would never advocate killing the child to save the mother. However, if the child's death was unintentionally caused by essential efforts to save the mother's life, and if every reasonable effort was made to save the life of the child as well, I wouldn't consider that a moral wrong. I would apply this same thinking to an unborn child and a pregnant mother, as there is nothing magical about a trip down the birth canal. In my view, the child is just as human, inside the womb or out, smaller or bigger, less developed or more developed, more dependent or less dependent.

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Yes, it would.

 

Our medical insurance is through the military. Federal dollars are not allowed to pay for any form of abortion. I had a friend who was pregnant with fraternal triplets. One of them died in utero and needed to be removed for the safety of the other two. They could not have the procedure at the military hospital, and they had to pay for the procedure out of pocket because it was still considered an abortion.

 

Of a dead fetus? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

 

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And this is why I say that I'm personally very much pro-life, but politically pro-choice. Because it is NOT my place, nor the place of a bunch of people in a courthouse or capitol building, to make decisions like this for people they've never met. And I would never judge a woman for making whatever decision she (along with her husband/pastor/doctor/whomever) thought best in such a difficult situation.

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What bugs me about this debate is that the situation presented, HELLP syndrome, is completely preventable according to the research and years of clinical experience of Dr. Tom Brewer. I would prefer that they work on improving prevention rather than relying on emergency abortion.

 

http://www.blueribbonbaby.org/

 

There is no peer reviewed research supporting this.

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Yes, it would.

 

Our medical insurance is through the military. Federal dollars are not allowed to pay for any form of abortion. I had a friend who was pregnant with fraternal triplets. One of them died in utero and needed to be removed for the safety of the other two. They could not have the procedure at the military hospital, and they had to pay for the procedure out of pocket because it was still considered an abortion.

 

Unbelievable. I'm with the PP who fail to understand how this is an abortion.

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There is no peer reviewed research supporting this.

 

Have you seen the bibliography on the site? The studies listed show how maternal nutrition, or lack thereof, affect pregnancy. While it may be true that no one has duplicated his research, there is plenty of research showing that nutrition is way more important than the medical community gives it. It is an unpopular topic in our country, where doctors rarely ask if nutrition would possibly cause, prevent, or cure disease.

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And this is why I say that I'm personally very much pro-life, but politically pro-choice. Because it is NOT my place, nor the place of a bunch of people in a courthouse or capitol building, to make decisions like this for people they've never met. And I would never judge a woman for making whatever decision she (along with her husband/pastor/doctor/whomever) thought best in such a difficult situation.

 

 

Yes. This exactly.

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I'm just wondering where issues like this fit into pro-choice vs pro-life movements. I know a miscarriage is classified as a spontaneous abortion... but it can't possibly be made illegal. Would my scenario fall under "an abortion for the mother's health" or "an induced preterm delivery".

 

I would say the baby in my hypothetical scenario would at a very least be provided comfort measures and heroic measures if it looked like there was a possibility they would help (rather than just causing the baby greater trauma).

 

I would think that it depends on the situation. Sometimes, medically, it is too dangerous to end a women's pregnancy via a c-section since sometimes critically ill people have clotting problems. Hence, a c-section in that case could possibly cause a women to bleed to death in that kind of case. With a clotting disorder that accompanies critical illness, a D&C would be safer for the woman since it does not involve cutting through a women's tissues.

 

So as you can see, it can get rather complicated when someone is critically ill. I definitely believe the mother's life takes precedence when both lives are at risk. Ideally one should save both, but it is not always possible. The thing that scares me is that some want to prevent doctors from choosing the safer alternative. I do not think a judge should come between a woman and her doctor at all. And besides, time is often of essence in critical situations. I have also gotten the impression that many of those against abortion, would want a woman to sacrifice her life which is wrong IMO.

 

I am afraid that legislation would cause a judge coming between a woman and her doctor. As another example, let us say abortion is outlawed except to save the life or health of a woman, rape, and incest. To me, that means a judge would be needed in all of these cases to verify the necessity. Again, I think that would be a horrible situation.

 

I am for keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare. I am for keeping birth control widely available.

 

My 2 cents.

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What bugs me about this debate is that the situation presented, HELLP syndrome, is completely preventable according to the research and years of clinical experience of Dr. Tom Brewer. I would prefer that they work on improving prevention rather than relying on emergency abortion.

 

http://www.blueribbonbaby.org/

 

Oh my gosh, HELLP syndrome is an autoimmune reaction to the baby. It's not preventable by a healthy diet! It's a rare subset of preeclampsia, and the causes and symptoms are not the same as "regular" preeclampsia. I had it twice, and both times, my pregnancy was healthy until HELLP hit out of the blue. The second time, I was tested at 22 wks because my bp was elevated for a few days, but thank God it was still negative at that point. If it had been positive, the choices were to deliver the baby to save me, or do nothing and lose us both.

 

I am pro-life, but in that situation, I don't believe delivering the baby to save the mother is a moral wrong.

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Have you seen the bibliography on the site? The studies listed show how maternal nutrition, or lack thereof, affect pregnancy. While it may be true that no one has duplicated his research, there is plenty of research showing that nutrition is way more important than the medical community gives it. It is an unpopular topic in our country, where doctors rarely ask if nutrition would possibly cause, prevent, or cure disease.

 

 

The bolded is exactly my point. :) And the bibliography contains no research or article citations more recent than the 1980's.

 

Of course nutrition is important, to mother and baby, but there's no evidence... none, that Brewer's diet will reduce the incidence of HELPP syndrome.

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Oh my gosh, HELLP syndrome is an autoimmune reaction to the baby. It's not preventable by a healthy diet! It's a rare subset of preeclampsia, and the causes and symptoms are not the same as "regular" preeclampsia. I had it twice, and both times, my pregnancy was healthy until HELLP hit out of the blue. The second time, I was tested at 22 wks because my bp was elevated for a few days, but thank God it was still negative at that point. If it had been positive, the choices were to deliver the baby to save me, or do nothing and lose us both.

 

I am pro-life, but in that situation, I don't believe delivering the baby to save the mother is a moral wrong.

 

Exactly.

My child and I both survived a HELLP seizure at 33 weeks, though with complications and ongoing issues.

I was considered high-risk due to my age, but otherwise very healthy. I had been in and out of the hospital that last month of pregnancy for other reasons not related to blood pressure.

HELLP hit me hard and fast. One minute I was fine, the next I was having a seizure. By God's grace, I was in the hospital at the time and my OB and specialist were in the room with me - again, for other reasons.

It was totally out of my hands at that time. I had no idea what was happening to me. I couldn't communicate. I woke up 12 hours later not knowing what had happened to me or even that I had had an emergency c-section.

 

I think the thing that is 'lost' in the debate is that when you are in that position, it is really out of your hands. When you get HELLP, it isn't like you can get up and walk out of the hospital if you don't agree with what the doctors are going to do. The time between when I went into a seizure and my son was cut out was less than ten minutes.

 

My OB is Catholic, pro-life.

She warned me strongly against any following pregnancies, due to the complicated nature of HELLP. She said that - professionally - they are to take care of the mother first, even if that means taking a baby pre-term. She said she didn't view it as an abortion, but as a surgery needed to protect the life of the mother.

(I could be wrong, but most preterm deliveries would be via c-section, not induced.)

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"Abortion" is the medical term used for any pregnancy that is terminated, including miscarriages.

 

Whether this type of abortion is "moral" is another discussion, one I'm not qualified to have. But I'm assuming that this is the type of abortion medical experts are talking about when they speak about needing to save the life of the mother.

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I think the thing that is 'lost' in the debate is that when you are in that position, it is really out of your hands.

 

Yes, that is true.

 

 

I didn't say I was against saving the mother's life, just that I wish more doctors would focus on preventative measures.

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I am very pro-Life, but I don't consider delivering the baby early to save the mother's life to be abortion assuming that medical care is provided to the baby after birth until God takes him/her. The doctor delivering the baby is not dismembering the child as happens in an abortion (sorry to be graphic, but that's the reality of abortion).

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I too believe drs and patients should be preventive if at all possible.

 

It isn't about killing the baby, they usually wait as long as they can to give the baby as much chance as possible.

 

If the baby dies because mom cannot sustain the pregnancy any longer, the baby is going to die anyways - because mom cannot sustain the pregnancy any longer. That's rather the entire point of inducing. It's to save mom and thus give baby whatever chance they can.

 

Now, if their chose to induce and chemically inject poison into the soft spot of the skull mid delivery to be sure baby was born dead or otherwise try to be sure baby dies and or reduces their chance to live?

 

Yeah. That's some serious sin there. :/

 

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I don't disagree. I didn't make the policies/laws, I only see how they are currently being applied.

 

Oh, I know. I just had no idea they "classified" a procedure that way. I can only imagine how much more stress that put on the parents, finding another care provider, paying out of pocket, and just dealing with the red tape.

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Oh, I know. I just had no idea they "classified" a procedure that way. I can only imagine how much more stress that put on the parents, finding another care provider, paying out of pocket, and just dealing with the red tape.

 

I just wanted to clarify for the people who say they are "very pro-life" but would not count these scenarios as abortions. That is not the message being received or implemented by legislators. The message being received is resulting in bad policies.

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I am afraid that legislation would cause a judge coming between a woman and her doctor. As another example, let us say abortion is outlawed except to save the life or health of a woman, rape, and incest. To me, that means a judge would be needed in all of these cases to verify the necessity. Again, I think that would be a horrible situation.

 

I am for keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare. I am for keeping birth control widely available.

 

 

 

That's why I could never support a measure like that. There are too many questions about how it would be applied. And I can't imagine that if a woman *is* in danger of dying, or is in the aftermath of a rape, that having to wait for her case to be "approved" is helpful in any way.

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What bugs me about this debate is that the situation presented, HELLP syndrome, is completely preventable according to the research and years of clinical experience of Dr. Tom Brewer. I would prefer that they work on improving prevention rather than relying on emergency abortion.

 

http://www.blueribbonbaby.org/

 

 

Sorry, but the stuff on that website is a load of crap. You can't keep a baby from being stillborn with leafy greens and a handful of nuts, and implying otherwise is downright cruel.

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