Is Abortion Ever Necessary To Save The Life Of The Mother?

For over 50 years Americans have been told a false story.

So says Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN, executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. And many more doctors (see below).

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.


What OB-GYNs who abide by the Hippocratic Oath and the signers of the Dublin Declaration understand is that in every situation where a pregnancy is endangering a woman’s life, what has to happen is that the mother and baby have to be separated. But the physician can separate the baby and do everything in his or her power to save that baby’s life. This is different from an abortion. The purpose of an abortion is to kill the baby before birth, giving him or her zero chance of survival.


Because of the law recently passed in New York, and the bills under consideration in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, the claim that abortion needs to be legal at any point in the pregnancy to preserve the life of the mother is likely to get a lot of play in the coming months. That claim, however, is not based in reality.

The reality is that, in an emergency, a physician can always separate the mother and the baby in a way that gives them both the best chance possible. Abortion is never about saving a life. It is about killing a human being, and it is never medically necessary to intentionally kill an unborn child in an abortion in order to save the life of its mother.

Source: Abortion is Never Necessary (read the whole thing!)

Over 1012 medical professionals agree.


“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, 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.”

You can find the names and specialties of these medical professionals here.

Again. Here’s the thing. By the time the baby is large enough to pose a health risk to the mother, doctors can always separate the two by either inducing labor or performing a C-Section.

The purposeful destruction of the unborn child is not medically necessary.

The Hippocratic Oath says “first do no harm.” The premature baby may indeed die, but that will not be the intent of the mother or health care practitioners.

This distinction matters.

Why can’t we protect the most vulnerable among us? It would be the moral thing to do. We have options after all. The mother and child have options. As a society we should support those options. Before and after birth.

One more thing. The companion case to Roe, Doe v. Bolton, expanded the definition of health to include emotional, psychological, and familial health. Because of that definitional expansion, there remained virtually no legal barrier to abortion for “health” reasons during the full term of the pregnancy.

In Doe, the Court defined the scope of Roe’s mandatory “health exception” (which must apply to restrictions on abortion at all gestational stages) to include not merely physical well-being but also “factors physical, emotional, psychological, and familial.”1“Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 192 (1973).”

In Roe and Doe, (I’ll discuss Casey at another time), the abortionist was given the sole authority to determine whether any such aspect of a woman’s well-being warrants an abortion. This essentially nullified the ability of states to restrict abortion even after a child could survive outside the womb.

Most people don’t know this.

Maybe you didn’t. But now you do.

Human Person
15 Weeks Old

I realize what I’ve written in this post is not sufficient to persuade everyone disappointed with the recent Supreme Court decision. Future posts will continue to make the case for LIFE. ‘Stay tuned.’ The ‘ball’ is in our court now. What will we do?


First, Do No Harm