And then what I did next was very similar to offering her an abortion. Because I was her doctor, because it was my job to take care of her, I reviewed the scientific evidence for her. I reviewed the risks—the real and scary risks—that might happen if she chose to stay pregnant. Mostly what we saw was infection, I reviewed, infection that can get into her body through her uterus, now defenseless. Once there, it can make her sick very fast, and won’t get better until the uterus is empty. I told her since waiting was unlikely to help the pregnancy survive, the safest thing would be to induce her labor and end her pregnancy.
“It’s my job to keep you from getting sick.” I said. “This is the safest way we have now.”
What I offered her, then, was an induction of labor. No metal tools; no operating room; no terrifying instruments. But I offered her an induction at a gestational age at which the fetus cannot survive, because it is so early.
So really, isn’t this an abortion? Should we talk about punishing her, now? Or perhaps just me? Which one of us should go to jail?