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    « Stuff To Do Online (26) | Main | Some Reasons Why I'm Slightly Liberal »

    January 23, 2005



    Just thought I'd attempt to answer your question from Point 6:

    When you have a problem, such as eclampsia, that threatens both the mother and the child, it is sometimes necessary to terminate the pregnancy. Eclampsia develops after the 20th week and the only treatment is delivery of the fetus. In such (thankfully rare) cases, the premature delivery of the child is protecting the mother's health.

    Depending on the development of the fetus at the time of delivery, it might be possible to save the child...or it might not. If not, doctors may opt for a dilation and extraction to make it easier for the mother.

    Also, a correction: The procedure is actually performed with the baby in a "breech" position (legs first), because the head at that stage is larger than the body. It reduces the size of the head so it can pass through the birth canal as easily as the rest of the body. This is to spare the woman the difficulty of delivery, especially is she's suffering the (life-threatening) symptoms of something like eclampsia.

    Basically, either way, an extremely premature child will suffer (undeveloped lungs, you see). Your policy would dictate that it suffer once it's born completely, but not every mother agrees. That's not a condemnation of either opinion. It just a fact that people will see late-term abortion in different ways, depending on their situation.

    Hope this helps answer your question.

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