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Women’s Health

Unfortunately, some women suffer from health problems related to pregnancy or abortion. We must make sure that women get the care they need. After all, the same principles that show that preborn lives are precious also show that adults’ lives are equally precious! Ethically, doctors should care for both the mom and the fetus. In the most challenging cases, doctors aren’t able to save both lives. In these heartbreaking situations, doctors should try to save one life (but never attack the other).

Person 1: I’m pro-choice because I care about women’s health. Person 2 (our hero): I want people to get the healthcare they need, too. But I think the mother and fetus are both patients who deserve care.Person 1: If abortion is outlawed, women will die in unsafe, illegal abortions. Person 2 (our hero): I’m concerned about this too. Abortion is worse when the mother dies. But I’d say abortion is never safe, since I value the mother and fetus equally.Person 1: The decision to get an abortion is between a woman and her doctor. Person 2 (our hero): I don’t want to violate anyone’s privacy. Let me ask a question. It may seem irrelevant, but please bear with me. Suppose a doctor starts offering infanticide “services.” How should we respond?Person 1: I don’t want to go back to women getting hurt in illegal abortions. Person 2 (our hero): I’m really concerned about women’s safety. I don’t want anyone to get hurt in any abortion, legal or illegal. But let’s do better than making abortion merely safe for women. Let’s save *everyone* from abortion, including both women and their children.Person 1: What if a mother’s life is in danger? Person 2 (our hero): The mother and child are equally valuable. In some situations doctors should give the mother life-saving treatment even if it results in the unintended, tragic death of the child. Let’s talk about a specific example.Person 1: Trust women to make their own decisions. Person 2 (our hero): I want to give people the benefit of the doubt too, but sometimes both men and women do things that need to be stopped. E.g., we should stop parents from abusing kids instead of blindly trusting them to decide how to treat their kids.Person 1: If abortion is outlawed, women will die in unsafe illegal abortions. Person 2 (our hero): I’m concerned about this too. I value the mother and fetus equally. I’m working for a future where nobody performs or seeks an abortion, legal or illegal.Person 1: Sure, a fetus is a person. But a woman may do anything to anyone in her body. Person 2 (our hero): I agree that we deserve special rights regarding our own bodies. But may a pregnant woman take thalidomide? It causes serious birth defects.
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