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Submitted by: Susan on  5/13/2010
Answered by: Fr. Frank Pavone
Topic: Life of a mother
I am trying to help a Catholic woman who is not pro-life because she feels the Church does not support the life of a mother when carrying her baby would end her own life. I cited the example of St. Gianna, the physician woman who refused chemotherapy because she wanted her fourth child to live.
There are two questions at issue here. One is medical (Is there ever need for an abortion to save the mother's life?) and the other is moral (Would an abortion in that case be justified?) The answer to both questions is no. There is no medical situation whose only solution is a direct abortion, as many doctors have testified. Morally speaking, furthermore, it is never right to directly kill an innocent person, even if good results are foreseen. We do not say that a baby's life is more important than the mother's. We do say that they are equal. You may never directly kill either one of them. If, in spite of the best medical efforts, one or both of them die, nothing morally wrong has been done, because an effort has been made to save life, but has failed. That is far different from killing.

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