The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Dobbs has sent abortion advocates and their allies in the media scurrying to strike fear into the hearts of women.
One example from just before the ruling is a New York Times article titled “Poland Shows the Risks for Women When Abortion Is Banned.” The article’s false implication is that thousands of women in the United States could die of pregnancy complications because physicians will now have their hands tied from intervening in life-threatening situations. That’s a bald-faced lie.
As a board-certified ob-gyn, I’ve delivered more than 5,000 babies and walked alongside thousands of women experiencing difficult pregnancies, including women facing life-threatening complications. Modern medical advances mean we don’t have to choose between the mother and her baby, even in dangerous pregnancies.
Almost always, the mother can receive the care she needs and the baby can be given a chance to survive. Always, both mother and baby can be treated with dignity and respect.
In more than a quarter-century of practice, I’ve never encountered a law that prevents me from taking medical action to save a mother’s life. What’s more, I practice in Texas, home of the controversial Texas Heartbeat Act. Those of us who have read the law know it’s nonsense to suggest the Heartbeat Act prevents doctors from saving a woman’s life, as abortion advocates claim.
In 2022, pregnancy complications that threaten a woman’s life are rare. When they do occur, medical interventions can most likely save the life of the mother while giving her child a chance to survive. Because medical care in America is so advanced, even high-risk pregnancies usually result in the safe delivery of a healthy baby alongside a healthy mother.
Abortion ‘Is Not Medical Care’
It’s important to understand the difference between abortion and medical care in instances where the mother’s life might be at risk. Intentionally ending the life of a baby is not medical care.
The use of abortion in the case of a life-threatening pregnancy complication typically involves a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure, more commonly referred to as a “dismemberment” abortion. In contrast, true medical care seeks to save both the unborn baby and the mother.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to deliver a baby preterm, and sadly the baby doesn’t always survive. But my goal is always to save both the young unborn child and the mother. If the baby is not able to survive, the compassionate and best thing to do is to deliver the baby in a medically standard way (such as induction or C-section), so the mother is able to hold her child and grieve her loss. That’s the compassion and dignity that the medically unnecessary act of abortion robs a mother.
Abortion advocates and their media allies, however, want you to believe that pro-lifers are so extreme that they’ll willingly sacrifice the lives of women, even those with life-threatening conditions such as non-viable ectopic pregnancies. That’s false.
An ectopic pregnancy happens when an embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube, and the fetus has no chance of survival to a live birth. This occurs in 1-2 percent of pregnancies in the United States, but accounts for 4-10 percent of pregnancy-related deaths.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists affirms: “Ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous condition that requires that the pregnancy end.” As soon as it’s diagnosed, physicians will treat an ectopic pregnancy because the mother’s life is at risk, a routine obstetric procedure that is not jeopardized by Dobbs.
This is lifesaving medical care. It is not an elective abortion.
The abortion lobby wants to portray the pro-life movement as something out of the Dark Ages — barbaric and thoroughly anti-American. Yet incredibly The New York Times, reflecting on a single tragic case in Poland, mourns the fact that Poland is no longer under draconian Communist rule.
“Poland was once a destination for women seeking abortion,” the newspaper notes. “Under Communism, the Catholic Church was marginalized and abortion legalized in 1956. Women were encouraged to work and granted sweeping reproductive rights.” The Times laments: “But that changed after the Communist government collapsed in 1989.”
‘Twisted’ View of Health Care
Presenting abortion as the “life-saving solution” for women facing challenging pregnancies is a warped view of health care. It belongs in a culture that does not value human life. And it denies the modern medical science that can bring both mother and baby safely through even a traumatic pregnancy.
Contrary to the media’s thinly veiled scare tactics, the lives of American women are not threatened by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.
It’s worth noting that the vast majority of ob-gyns do not perform abortions because abortion isn’t medical care. In rare cases of dangerous pregnancies, there will always be medical contingencies for the health and safety of both mother and unborn child. If a mother faces medical risks from a pregnancy, her health can, should, and must be addressed as paramount. And it will be.
Don’t let the abortion industry or its mouthpieces in the media scare you into believing otherwise.
Dr. Ingrid Skop, M.D., F.O.C.A.G., is senior fellow and director of medical affairs at Charlotte Lozier Institute (www.lozierinstitute.org). As a board-certified OB/GYN for more than 25 years, she has delivered over 5,000 babies.