Opinion: The case of 10-year-old Paraguayan pregnant girl and why killing is not the answer

The debate about whether abortion is ever medically necessary has been sparked again. Last month, CNN reported an update about a 10-year-old girl in Paraguay who is pregnant as a result of rape. Although she’s already 26 weeks along (and was 21 weeks by the time her pregnancy was detected), abortion supporters would have you believe that a late-term abortion is necessary to save her life.

An abortion, whether done early – or in this specific case quite late – in pregnancy is not going to undo the far-reaching trauma this 10-year-old has faced.

— Lila Rose

In fact, Amnesty International has gone so far as to produce an “Urgent Action” report, calling on people to write Paraguayan authorities to "save her life" by aborting her now six-month baby.

Meanwhile, powerful pro-abortion groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation are already beginning to advance their radical agenda to liberalize abortion in nations like Paraguay by using this young girl's tragic plight.

There is no denying the horrifying nature of the situation. This child has been victimized through sexual assault and needs an outpouring of extensive care and support. The question is, though, when crimes happen to one innocent party, is it just to harm another innocent party? And even if we all can agree that children shouldn’t be having children, the fact is this preborn child already exists.

This isn’t a matter of avoiding the creation of new life; rather, it’s a matter of asking, What is the just and loving response once new life has been created?

An abortion, whether done early – or in this specific case quite late – in pregnancy is not going to undo the far-reaching trauma this 10-year-old has faced. And at this point, whether an abortion or whether birth are the sought-after solutions, either way the preborn child needs to come out of the young mom’s body. Why is removal by abortion the response, instead of delivering alive?

In reality, it shouldn’t be, as Paraguayan government doctors have said the girl’s life is not in danger. They’ve pointed out that she has been receiving check-ups, is having a normal pregnancy and is receiving care in a shelter. Even if her young body cannot sustain maintaining pregnancy to 40 weeks, delivering this now-viable fetus via inducing labor or a C-section can result in a live birth; no abortion is needed.

And that’s the reality: abortion is never medically necessary to save a mother’s life. The Dublin Declaration makes this clear, with more than 1,000 signatures from obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatricians, midwives, and other medical professionals claiming that fact. This is reinforced by the testimony of Dr. Anthony Levatino, a reformed abortionist, who described a typical “life of the mother” case as he saw it:

“During my time at Albany Medical Center I managed hundreds of such cases by ‘terminating’ pregnancies [via live delivery by C-section] to save mothers' lives. In all those hundreds of cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.”

In other words, when a life-in-danger medical condition arises, the solution is not to kill the baby, but to address what’s wrong with the woman. Granted, if we’re talking before viability, this may not always result in the preborn child surviving.

For example, removing the woman’s fallopian tube via salpingectomy in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, or inducing labor to remove infected membranes in the case of chorioamnionitis, means the preborn child won’t be able to sustain life. Not being able to save someone because we lack the technology to do so, however, is entirely different from directly killing them; the latter is what abortion is, and that is always a grave injustice against a helpless human life.

Moreover, there are other situations where the child is likely to survive thanks to advancing incubator technology and viability generally being at 24 weeks (with some preborn children surviving earlier).

Mothers, when they move past the rhetoric and look at the facts, can be comforted: They can understand that they never have to kill their children in order to save themselves.