Should Brain-Dead Women Stay on Life Support Until Their Baby Is Born?
Politicians in Louisiana have passed a bill that requires physicians and hospitals to keep brain-dead pregnant women on life support, which Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal may soon sign into law. The goal of the law is reportedly to "permit the continuing development and live birth of an unborn child," in spite of a mother remaining mentally incapacitated.
While lawmakers of course believe they have good intentions, this is a troubling move to many, like Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who told MSNBC, "When women suffer unimaginable tragedies in our pregnancies that render us incapable of making our own decisions, those are best left to those who know and love us and to the medical professionals who are charged with our care." Right on. Since when does the government know better than a pregnant woman and her loved ones?
This only serves to highlight how important it is for expectant moms to discuss matters like these with their partners and loved ones. Of course it's not something that we necessarily want to think or talk about while anticipating one of life's most momentous, joyous occasions.
But being pregnant presents in itself a bevy of what ifs, and one of those is what if tragedy struck? What would you do if you were to be on life support? If you were able to make the choice, what would you want for your own welfare -- and for your baby's? Would you want to be kept alive if it gave your baby a chance to pull through?
Ultimately, the decision to pull the plug or not to is a deeply personal, tremendously difficult one. One best left to mothers and their partners, their mothers, and their health care providers. But women in Louisiana are going to have to gear up to fight to make that so.
As a mom, what would you want to do?
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