Iowa Right to Life has filed petitions with more than 20,000 signatures with the Iowa Board of Medicine asking the board to end so-called “webcam abortions. (See Des Moines Register article link below.) This is exactly the type of abortion that should be allowed. This drug is taken usually during the first 1 – 2 months of a pregnancy. Even at eight weeks, the fetus is usually little more than a half inch long, and is clearly unable to survive outside the womb.
A woman should have the right to control her own body. In the case of pregnancy, a woman should not be forced against her will to carry a baby to full term. If the fetus is at a stage where it is unable to survive outside the womb, then an abortion is appropriate. If a fetus is able to live as a baby outside the womb, then the mother should take reasonable care to have the baby delivered alive. But that is clearly not the case here.
At some point in the development of a fetus, it becomes unclear whether or not it might survive as a baby outside the womb. At that point, we should err in favor of the baby and require reasonable care in the delivery. But, if a woman, under any circumstances, does not want to keep her baby, she should have no legal responsibility to provide or pay for its care. If the baby is delivered alive, there are many people who are willing to take care of it. (In Iowa, we have a safe-haven law that allows a mother to drop off her baby at a hospital with no questions asked.)