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Religion & ectopic abortion

Spirituality   (5,187 Views 73 Comments)
by Happy.Nurselet Happy.Nurselet (Member)

Happy.Nurselet has 1 years experience and works as a OBGYN Triage LPN.

1,195 Visitors; 53 Posts

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Happy.Nurselet has 1 years experience and works as a OBGYN Triage LPN.

1,195 Visitors; 53 Posts

I'm glad to see that other Christians (Catholic and of other denominations) and non religious alike accept the termination of ectopics in this manner.

@jetsy62 as for the question of whether terminating an ectopic pregnancy is abortion, by definition it is.

a·bor·tion

/əˈbôrSH(ə)n/Submit

noun

1.

the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

synonyms: termination, miscarriage

"her first pregnancy resulted in a spontaneous abortion"

I don't believe it carries the same moral implication as abortion of a viable fetus, however to say it is not an abortion is incorrect.

@morte and others with questions on whether the Catholic Church speaks against it, here is a link to why I became frustrated with their approach and started this topic: https://www.ncbcenter.org/files/9514/6984/9801/MSOB052_When_Pregnancy_Goes_Awry.pdf

This is an article by the national catholic bioethics center which in summary, criticizes the use of drugs that target the fetus, favoring the approach of salpingectomy as "morally acceptable" because it targets not the fetus but the tube which would be subject to rupture. To their credit, the author acknowledges the good will of the physician and the primary goal of protecting the mother.

@LibraSunCNM while I appreciate your concern, I'm quite aware of what defines an ectopic pregnancy as well as the prognosis for the non viable conceptus and the mother. Unfortunately this is something I educate patients on quite frequently. Honestly that's why I care enough to start this topic. I personally have no qualms with any safe termination of a life threatening condition, but after learning that the largest sect of Christianity is picky about it from a doctrinal standpoint, I am concerned for my patients mental and spiritual well-being.

I hope none of my patients ever read or stumble upon any of this.. I hope they never hear anyone tell them it's "wrong" or "morally illicit" to terminate a non viable pregnancy.. but it makes me so mad that this is a real thing. Why are men behind desks deciding what the best course of treatment is for women with life threatening conditions? How many patients have struggled with whether or not to pursue safe treatment out of fear that they would be looked down upon by their church "family"?

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An ectopic pregnancy is not viable, therefore terminating the pregnancy would not be prematurely ending a life. In fact, it is best practice to terminate the pregnancy at fist sign of an ectopic pregnancy because if the cell cluster becomes too big it can rupture a Fallopian tube, or if placed outside of the tube can cause other visceral damage and results in internal bleeding. This puts the mother's life at great risk.

From the American Family Physician website: "A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a true medical emergency. It is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester and accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all maternal deaths." Ectopic Pregnancy - - American Family Physician

To be honest, I find the proposition of this question rather shocking. It seems that the OP is asking if a mother diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy should "continue" with the pregnancy due to Christian morals. This would without any doubt result in death of the fetus and a very high probability of serious complications including death for the mother. This is not a case of a pregnancy terminated because the mother did not wish to have the baby.

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96 Likes; 1 Follower; 11,574 Visitors; 1,248 Posts

The ethical principle the Catholic Church employs in the case of an ectopic pregnancy is that of "double effect". A life threatening rupture of the fallopian tube is almost inevitable if the fetus continues to develop there. The death of the fetus is not the intention at all. The intention is to secure the fallopian tube to prevent loss of life/severe injury. In the course of that effort, the life is regrettably ended, but not intended.

It would be the same principle if a gravid, cancerous uterus were taken out to cure a woman of uterine cancer.

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The OP is not correct about the Catholic Church's stance on treating a woman with an ectopic pregnancy.

The link OP referenced is not a decree from the Pope, it is an essay from a theologian.

The church does not prohibit the termination of an ectopic pregnancy by any means.

It also does not prohibit academics from writing essays on the topic or any other topic.

Get it right. A catholic can write any essay he wants. Unless he's the pope, his opinion is just that. His opinion.

Next imaginary problem please.

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DannyBoy8 has 3 years experience.

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I think you may be a bit confused about what an ectopic pregnancy is. A pregnancy growing outside the uterus will NEVER become a healthy, viable pregnancy. The only options for treating it are methotrexate, surgical removal, or maternal death. The term "abortion" should not even be thrown around here---it's essentially the only TREATMENT for the situation. I know of no teaching from the Catholic church that supports allowing moms to die instead of treating an ectopic. However, I'm not Catholic so I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Unsurprisingly, you can never say 'never'. Depending on the location of the ectopic, expectant management is possible - in particular with cesarean scar ectopics. Live birth rates between 50-80% with relatively little mortality. That being said, terminate your ectopics people!

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Persephone Paige has 15 years experience as a ADN and works as a Med-Surg.

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I am pro-life, as I believe there are plenty of families who would give anything for a child. That being said, ectopic pregnancy is life threatening. And unless there are some new procedures I know nothing about, the mother may well die if the pregnancy continues. So, I believe she should be helped in whatever way to not die from it. If that involves medication assistance, so be it.

I was raised Christian. I identify as 'pro-life,' for myself. I do not volunteer my beliefs to patients. In fact, I do not volunteer my beliefs to anyone unless I am asked specifically.

I also do not get up on a soapbox and demand abortion be stopped. But, I do believe that others should not be asked to fund things they do not believe in. The health departments provide birth-control free of charge. All that is required is a ride to the clinic once every 3 mos, a commitment to sit in the waiting room until you are seen and a commitment to take a pill, insert a ring, get an injection and use foam and condoms throughout the rest of your cycle while on antibiotics or if you forget to take a pill. So easy... and then nobody is inconvenienced. But, folks don't care. They refuse to be responsible for their own lives and default to government funded abortion ( us, the tax payers ) as birth control.

I am, in my own way, a feminist. The way that I avoided anyone having a say with my body was to take responsibility for my own reproductive rights. I had two children, both planned; seven (7) years apart. Then, no more. I'm down with no unwanted children. I would have gone to the nut hut if I had had a bunch of kids. So, I made sure I didn't. I'm happy to contribute taxes to help young women prevent unwanted pregnancy. I am not happy to contribute to killing a child because a woman was lazy and irresponsible sexually.

* I am not referring to rape, incest, etc...

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and works as a Staff nurse educator.

354 Likes; 4 Followers; 4 Articles; 102,442 Visitors; 8,565 Posts

I'm glad to see that other Christians (Catholic and of other denominations) and non religious alike accept the termination of ectopics in this manner.

@jetsy62 as for the question of whether terminating an ectopic pregnancy is abortion, by definition it is.

a·bor·tion

/əˈbôrSH(ə)n/Submit

noun

1.

the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

synonyms: termination, miscarriage

"her first pregnancy resulted in a spontaneous abortion"

I don't believe it carries the same moral implication as abortion of a viable fetus, however to say it is not an abortion is incorrect.

That may indeed be the technical definition, but that doesn't mean the word abortion itself doesn't carry a different connotation when used in "normal" conversation. A woman who has had a miscarriage doesn't go around telling people she had a spontaneous abortion- most people would take that to mean an intentional termination of the pregnancy.

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248 Likes; 1 Follower; 13,042 Visitors; 1,364 Posts

Also...

"Excommunicable offense"

Hahahaha.

There is no such thing in the Catholic Church. You can't even excommunicate yourself. Your parents baptize you and you are a catholic forever more. You might be a bad Catholic, but you're still a Catholic according to the church. You might decide you are an atheist or a voodoo priest or a mormon, they don't care. You're a Catholic to them. Period.

Excommunicated... lol.

Edited by FolksBtrippin

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I think you may be a bit confused about what an ectopic pregnancy is. A pregnancy growing outside the uterus will NEVER become a healthy, viable pregnancy. The only options for treating it are methotrexate, surgical removal, or maternal death. The term "abortion" should not even be thrown around here---it's essentially the only TREATMENT for the situation. I know of no teaching from the Catholic church that supports allowing moms to die instead of treating an ectopic. However, I'm not Catholic so I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

I agree with this. I am a pro-life, but definitely also a pro-choice. And I believe that it is not "abortion" to do a medical treatment on an ectopic pregnancy situation.

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thecareerchanger works as a New grad nurse.

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Interesting topic. I am pro-life/pro-choice; what I mean by that is I do not believe in abortions for myself nor would I advocate anyone to have one but I do believe in women's right to choose for themselves and don't judge others who have had one for whatever reason. I no longer attend church but my background is Christian/Pentecostal so like Catholics and probably most Christian denominations abortion is viewed as a sin but to my knowledge termination of an ectopic pregnancy would not be considered abortion and would probably be likened to a miscarriage since the pregnancy is not viable in anyway, shape or form, not to mention that the failure to terminate such a pregnancy could lead to maternal death. Even though I am pro-life I would have no qualms about terminating an ectopic pregnancy for the reasons I stated

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience and works as a Complex Care Manager.

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Also...

"Excommunicable offense"

Hahahaha.

There is no such thing in the Catholic Church. You can't even excommunicate yourself. Your parents baptize you and you are a catholic forever more. You might be a bad Catholic, but you're still a Catholic according to the church. You might decide you are an atheist or a voodoo priest or a mormon, they don't care. You're a Catholic to them. Period.

Excommunicated... lol.

I tried once. I sent an email to the church I was confirmed through and told them I didn't want to be Catholic anymore. They never responded.

It's been 18 years and my mother and I still fight about the fact that she forced me to get confirmed when I was 16 years old and knew I didn't want to.

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ClaraRedheart has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Med-Surg Tele Nurse.

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I am very pro-life, and a conservative Christian, but as others have echoed, the pregnancy is not viable if it is truly ectopic. Baby and mom will both die if it continues and it is only currently possible to save one of the two lives.

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