Learn the Facts

What if a woman needs an abortion to save her life?

The pro-life movement strongly supports medical intervention to save a pregnant mother’s life, even if that results in the foreseen but unintended death of her child. And in fact, every state limit on abortion provides exceptions for life-saving care for pregnant mothers.

However, it should be noted that these kinds of cases are extremely rare, accounting for approximately 0.1% of all abortions. And in many cases, the medical intervention involved would not technically be considered an abortion — for example, the inducing of labor after premature rupture of the membranes, a condition that can be fatal for both mother and child.

Further complicating this question is a shift in priorities within the medical community. While those treating pregnant women used to recognize that they have two patients — the mother and the child — more than fifty years of legal abortion have diminished the value that many physicians place on the life of a human fetus.

In all such difficult cases, the human dignity of both mother and child should be respected to the greatest extent possible.

See also What percentage of abortions are because of “hard cases”?


Skop, Ingrid, M.D. “Abortion Policy Allows Physicians to Intervene to Protect a Mother’s Life.” Charlotte Lozier Institute. May 16, 2023. https://lozierinstitute.org/abortion-policy-allows-physicians-to-intervene-to-protect-a-mothers-life.

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