Abortion ruling

Carlos T. Mock, MD

This is in response to “Abortion law is upheld; In 5-4 ruling, justices OK ban on controversial procedure” (Page 1, April 19).

As a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, I am deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s ruling, in which justices approved a ban on partial-birth abortion without taking into consideration the health of the mother.

As a physician who took the Hippocratic oath, I am sworn to do no harm. In difficult situations in which I’ve had to choose between the health of the baby vs. the mother’s, the most important factor to consider is the health of the woman. I have only practiced partial-birth abortions on dead fetuses, when the risk of a severely ill mother (diabetic or hypertensive) would endanger her life if subjected to Cesarean section.

The worst mistake this country can do is to legislate the practice of medicine. Medicine should be regulated by our respective medical associations. Groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argue that depriving physicians of this option would create real danger.

Difficult ethical choices should be left to be decided between the physician and his patients. This is precisely an area where less government is the best choice.