Friday, October 19, 2012

GOP Rep. Walsh demonstrably wrong on abortion

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill) claimed during a debate yesterday, when asked if he thinks it is never medically necessary to perform an abortion to save the life of the mother, "Absolutely.  With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance.  There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”

This is demonstrably false.  Just in my own experience in pediatrics, where such things are of course less common, I know of one abortion which was performed on a patient with severe cystic fibrosis because there was no way she would have survived a pregnancy.  Several patients with congenital heart disease were told to never get pregnant, and would need an abortion if they did, because their hearts couldn't handle the increased work of pregnancy.

It is utterly unacceptable for leaders like Walsh and Todd Akin (the "legitimate rape" guy) to talk about these life and death issues from a position of ignorance.  We can agree or disagree on the moral implications of the issues, but they are not allowed to make up their own facts.  That such candidates still find support in the Republican Party is a stain on the party, and undecided voters should take notice.

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