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Monday, March 01, 2010



It would be important to know what the specific medical facts were. Would the life of the 9-year old mother have been at physical risk? Without those facts, it is not clear to the reader if the ethicist was in error. Catholic teaching has an exception for abortion if the life of the mother is at risk. The classic example we used to discuss is an ectopic pregnancy.

Clarification would be helpful to this discussion.


An ectopic pregnancy is an example of the double effect, remedying the problem--a failed pregnancy that will result in the death of the embreyo and eventually the mother. However, it is not an abortion as such because the attempt of the doctor is not to kill the unborh child, whereas all abortions target the embryo, fetus, etc.

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