A California OB/GYN is speaking out after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended her stance on late-term abortion Wednesday night.
“As an OB/GYN physician for 31 years, there is no medical situation that requires aborting/killing the baby in the third trimester to ‘save the mother’s life,'” Dr. Lawrence Koning of Corona, California wrote on social media following the event.
“Just deliver the baby by C-section and the baby has 95+% survival with readily available NICU care even at 28 weeks,” he said. “C-section is quicker and safer than partial birth abortion for the mother.”
As previously reported, Clinton was asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace on Wednesday how far her beliefs go about abortion.
“I want to explore how far you believe the right to abortion goes. You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late-term, partial-birth abortions. Why?” he inquired.
“Because Roe v. Wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortion so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account,” Clinton replied. “And when I voted as a senator, I did not think that that was the case.”
She asserted that there are cases where a woman’s health might be at risk if they carry the child to term.
“The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make,” Clinton said. “I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy.”
“I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account,” she added.
But nearly 40 years ago, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop advised, like Koning, that abortion is never needed to save the life of the mother.
“Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen,” he said. “In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be be aborted to save the mother’s life.”
“When a woman is pregnant, her obstetrician takes on the care of two patients—the mother-to-be and the unborn baby. If, toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, he will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarian section,” Koop explained. “His intention is still to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby will be premature. The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”
In 2012, nearly 900 medical professionals signed the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health, which likewise contended that abortion is never necessary when the mother’s health is at risk.
“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman,” the declaration read. “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,” it stated.