I have received several questions about ectopic pregnancies and feel that a post addressing this unfortunate life-threatening complication is warranted.
Ectopic pregnancy, literally meaning ‘out of place’, results when a child implants somewhere other than the uterus. This is a tragedy for both the mother and her child. Approximately half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and approximately 1 in 50 are ectopic. An ectopic pregnancy almost always results in the loss of the child as over 95% of ectopic pregnancies occur within the Fallopian tube. A few extremely rare cases where the child implanted inside the abdominal cavity resulted in a live surgical delivery.
Ectopic pregnancies must be treated by either administering methotrexate, a drug which inhibits cellular division and results in the embryo being absorbed back into the mother’s body, or through surgical removal of the embryo. Either technique results in the tragic loss of the child.
I address this topic because it is often used in an attempt to justify induced abortion. As you can see, treating a mother who has experienced this unfortunate complication will almost always mean the UNINTENTIONAL loss of her child. When any form of treatment is required to save a pregnant mother’s life from grave physical danger that is certain to lead to her death, every action must be taken to save her life AND the life of her child. If her child is lost during this treatment, the child’s loss was NOT an induced abortion as it was unintentional. Saving the mother’s life is the only logical choice because without her life support, the child would die anyway. It is senseless to lose both lives.
Pro-life advocates understand the tragic circumstances that can arise from pregnancy complications in which there is no hope to save the child. These rare events do not justify the elective killing of healthy children carried by healthy mothers. They are completely different circumstances.