Congressman Joe Walsh may have gotten himself into some hot water with the pro-abortion crowd during Thursday night's WTTW debate with Tammy Duckworth. When queried about situations where abortion should be allowed, Walsh opined that "the life of the mother" exception is a difficult one to define. Needless to say, the comments were seized upon by the Democrats who have been whipping up a firestorm about them. So much so, that Walsh is holding a press conference in Elk Grove Village at 2:30 PM today to address the topic.
Walsh is right that the "health of a mother" includes her psychological state, her familial status as well as her physical condition. He's right that the health of the mother is used vaguely sometimes as a reason to provide for abortions for any reason. The "life of the mother" is even more controversial and serious. When women early in their pregnancies discover their babies haven't moved out of their fallopian tubes and into the necessary uterine environment for growth and nutrition, doctors will perform surgeries to remove the baby, which has no chance whatsoever of survival. If the ectopic pregnancy isn't ended with surgery, the mother's life is seriously threatened, in addition to the baby's.
Walsh is also correct that medical technology has decreased the situations wherein a doctor must choose between the life of a mother and her baby. The instances are indeed rare when one or the other's lives are at stake. However, ectopic pregnancies, while rare, provide situations where a decision to lose one life or two must be made. The Congressman seemed to be conveying the value he places on life and therefore why every attempt should be made to protect all human lives.
Given this, Walsh's passion and questions are understandable. The extreme position would seem to be Duckworth, who sees absolutely no situation in which society should limit the aborting of human life. The voters of the 8th CD will need to decide which view of life represents theirs.