Abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2022 according to the WHO. Every year, around 73 million induced abortions occur, which is about 200,000 abortions per day. Six out of ten unwanted pregnancies end in abortion.

Joe Biden, president of the United States, wants to force emergency room doctors in Texas hospitals to perform abortions when necessary.

This issue is not new. It was in 2022 when, through the “Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act” (EMTALA), Biden urged all emergency doctors, ignoring their ethical and deontological position, to help women who wanted to have an abortion.

Greg Abbott, Republican governor of the state of Texas, reacted against this project by issuing an order to prevent lawyers from authorizing this pro-abortion initiative.

A year later, in November 2023, Biden went to court again with the intention of repealing the federal rule. However, the United States Court of Appeals For The Fifth Circuit has now ruled that this imposition is illegal and cannot be carried out.

Lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an entity that represents the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, have asked this court “to keep in place a lower court ruling halting the Biden administration from employing the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act to force doctors to provide elective abortions in emergency rooms”. This request is made in order to protect doctors in their ability to freely choose according to their conscience.

Ryan Bangert, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at ADF, has argued in court that the Fifth Circuit has “correctly ruled that the federal government has no business transforming [emergency rooms] into abortion clinics.”

Likewise, he has denounced that “doctors shouldn’t be forced to break the Hippocratic Oath, and they shouldn’t have to choose between violating their deeply held beliefs or facing stiff financial penalties and being barred from the Medicare program”, the federal health insurance program for people over 65 years.

73 million abortions every year in the world

To put this situation in context, it is worth clarifying that abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2022 according to the WHO. Every year, around 73 million induced abortions occur, this represents approximately 200,000 abortions per day. Six out of ten unwanted pregnancies end in abortion.

In the United States, of the 50 states that make up the country, 14 totally prohibit it and another 12 impose restrictions in a range from 6 to 26 weeks of gestation and limit access to abortion services. In eight of them, the absolute or severe ban remains blocked by decisions of federal judges.

Mild restrictions apply in five states, while in 20 states, along with Puerto Rico and Washington DC, abortion is legal even in the advanced stages of pregnancy without restrictions.

In Spain 98,316 abortions were performed in 2022, 9% more than in 2021. These alarming figures were announced by the Ministry of Health in the State Registry of Voluntary Interruptions of Pregnancy last September 2023.

Bioethical assessment

The insistence on promoting policies that pave the way for women to practice indiscriminate abortion represents the greatest attack against the human life of the unborn child, and against the dignity of women. Abortion does not bring health to any of those involved in it. In addition to ending the life of the embryo or fetus, it causes well-documented physical and psychological consequences in women who abort, especially in the case of repeated abortions.

The persistence of the WHO and gynecological societies in including abortion in sexual and reproductive health programs, or even attempting to recognize it as a right, constitutes an unacceptable contradiction that must continue to be denounced.

The situation of demographic winter in advanced countries, together with the pressure from the United Nations for the extension of abortion as a condition for granting development aid in third world countries, is an attack against human beings and against our civilization.

Reproductive health consists of supporting the woman and the family in the process of gestation, childbirth and puerperium, as well as in the upbringing of children. Protecting life in cases of unwanted pregnancies by supporting women economically, socially and psychologically, is the true attitude of progress that should be promoted instead of the current promotion of the generalized extermination of abortion.

Julio Tudela and Cristina Castillo

Bioethics Observatory – Institute of Life Sciences

Catholic University of Valencia

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