Pro-Life Action League Asks Why Won’t Pregnant Women with Breast Cancer “Sacrifice?”


A new study has come out stating that pregnant women who have breast cancer may no longer have to worry about increased risk to themselves or their fetus if they undergo treatment while pregnant. According to a press release:

Pregnant women treated for breast cancer are more likely to survive than patients of the same age not pregnant when cancer was diagnosed, a U.S. study found.

Five years after their diagnosis almost 74 of the women diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy were still alive, while of those who were not pregnant when they got treatment, 55.75 percent survived to the five-year mark, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The study to be presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Washington is likely to help lay to rest the lingering belief that pregnancy is a uniquely dangerous time for a woman to discover breast cancer.

Pregnant women diagnosed with breast cancer were long urged to terminate a pregnancy or to wait until giving birth to begin aggressive treatment.

The report supports a widespread shift in medical practice that says a pregnant breast cancer patient can begin chemotherapy as soon as her first trimester is over and resume treatment with radiation, follow-on chemotherapy or surgery after the baby’s birth.

The study findings are important, researchers say, since more women are choosing to start or complete families later in life, thus increasing the chances that breast cancer and pregnancy could coincide.

Anti-choice advocates are taking this to be a sign that abortion is no longer ever necessary when a pregnant woman has cancer.  But some are actually bemoaning the idea that women are having treatment at all rather than “sacrificing” their health for the sake of the fetus.

Via Christian Today, Australia:

Dismissing the premise that abortion is necessary when the mother’s life is in medical danger, [Pro Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler] emphasized, “We need a broader prospective, a spiritual prospective.”

According to Scheidler, that prospective starts with a doctor who values a human life and considers the fetus as a client. It also requires that mothers consider self-sacrifice.

“At least consider the possibility of sacrifice,” he advised. “That used to be considered a noble thing. Now people consider you insane when you talk about sacrificing yourself. At least consider the option of sacrifice even if that sacrifice is [no] treatment for the duration of the pregnancy for yourself.”

Of course, the article claims that there is no difference in birth defect rates for babies who were born from mothers undergoing chemotherapy than regular births.  What the article fails to mention is that is only the case if the drugs are not taken during the first trimester. But perhaps that’s just a sacrifice the fetus should be expected to take, as well.  After all, it’s the “noble thing” to do.

It would be wonderful if all pregnant women diagnosed with cancer had the ability to wait to have treatment, since the majority of those pregnancies are likely planned and wanted.  But to advocate that doctors should always put the fetus first and then just hope that the mother can hold on until after it’s born to get treatment is unconscionable, and to call it the “noble” option is in no way “pro-life.”

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  • crowepps

    “At least consider the possibility of sacrifice,” he advised. “That used to be considered a noble thing. Now people consider you insane when you talk about sacrificing yourself.

    How come ‘sacrifice’ is ‘a noble thing’ but suicide is not?  Based on the fact that there is absolutely NO ill effect on the fetus, in this case wouldn’t they pretty much be the same thing?  Does it seem to anyone else like Eric Scheidler’s idea is ‘the only good woman is a dead woman?’

  • colleen

    “At least consider the possibility of sacrifice,”

    Why is it that the ‘culture of life’ never demands male sacrifice? Why is it only women and pregnant children whose lives they demand to prop up their bogus claims to moral authority.  In this religion all the men need do is ejaculate .

  • crowepps

    It is to honor the MAN’s ability to ‘create life’ even when the woman is unwilling that the women are being sacrificed.

     

  • andenakker

    some are actually bemoaning the idea that women are having treatment at all rather than “sacrificing” their health for the sake of the fetus.

    There might be some like that, but despite the implications of this article, Eric Scheidler isn’t one of them, at least according to a few lines omitted from the quoted story:

    According to the study, however, little sacrifice may be needed…Scheidler said he is encouraged by the study’s findings and hopes more women will value their unborn children.

    “I’m happy to hear about the study,” he said.

  • crowepps

    There’s a longer quote higher up in the ‘Christian Today’ article:

     

    Pro Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler said he is not surprised by the results.

    “I am very skeptical that there’s ever a reason for abortion,” he said, noting that most women who seek an abortion in the midst of a medical emergency are not considering all the options.

    “The problem is we have two things working against a life-embracing culture,” Scheidler added. First, he said, some doctors are afraid that something might go wrong. Second, some physicians and doctors are embracing abortion as a way to lighten their case load.

    “When you dig a little deeper, you find that it (abortion) is really a quick fix,” he noted.

    I would add, the information on ‘Charity Navigator indicates Pro-Life Action League is a ‘family business’ bringing in salaries of a little less than $60,000 for dad, mom and son.

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=9888

  • colleen

    “I am very skeptical that there’s ever a reason for abortion,” he said, noting that most women who seek an abortion in the midst of a medical emergency are not considering all the options.

     

    Right, because that whole maternal mortality rate business is just a liberal feminist myth.

  • prochoicekatie

    “Scheidler said he is encouraged by the study’s findings and hopes more women will value their unborn children.”

    The thing that’s frustrating about a statement like this is that Scheidler has now suggested that pregnant women, diagnosed with breast cancer, during what could have very well been a wanted pregnancy, don’t value their unborn.

    No, they just have to weigh their own lives with that of the fetus. And maybe during the midst of a breast cancer diagnosis they decide they shouldn’t/can’t become a parent.

    Scheidler’s comment is just another example of a anti-choice man deciding that he knows more about women, medicine, and what factors women face when choosing abortion than say… women, themselves.

  • purplemistydez

    So what is wrong with a woman valuing her life more than a fetus.  If the woman does not want to be pregnant then she should not have to be.  It is her life and she has the right to dictate how that life proceeds.

  • runningshoe