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Letters to the Editor: Life of the Mother

Abortion to save a woman’s life

Dear editor:

Why do so many people think that there has to be a “life of the mother” exception to abortion when they talk about legislative proposals and political platforms? If the human being is a person at conception, then why would it ever be morally justified to take that person’s life by abortion?

Recently, the following statement was signed by hundreds of doctors and posted on the internet:

“I agree that there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child’s life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. A physician must do everything possible to save the lives of both of his patients, mother and child. He must never intend the death of either.”

This statement makes it clear that no law outlawing abortion should contain any exception. It suggests to me that politicians who favor such exceptions are not really pro-life.

Justice Harry Blackmun, in his infamous decision in 1973’s Roe v. Wade case, used the Texas law to justify abortion on demand. Blackmun pointed to the “life of the mother” exception in the Texas abortion law (and those of other states). “If the fetus is a person who is not to be deprived of life without due process of law,” he asked rhetorically, “and if the mother’s condition is the sole determinant, does not the Texas exception appear to be out of line with the Amendment’s command?”

The United States Supreme Court determined, based on the existence of an exception clause, that the preborn are not “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment. Had no such exception existed, Roe v. Wade might well have been impossible.

It seems to me that the human being is a person at conception, a person just like you and me. And because this is so, no genuine pro-life person, and no genuine pro-life law could ever allow for a “life of the mother” exception. Doctors don’t need it, and the U. S. Supreme Court used it to sanction thousands of acts of abortion murder every day in our nation. Nobody in the womb can live with a life of the mother exception.

Statements quoted in this letter are at Protecting the life of the mother and Exceptions break the rule.