What About the "Health of the Mother?"
For many abortion advocates, the life and health of the mother are commonly cited reasons to keep abortion legal. As compassionate conversationalists, we must assume that this concern is coming from a place of genuine concern. Even so, a question we have to ask is: what constitutes the “life and health of the mother”?
The 1973 Supreme Court decision Doe v. Bolton states that “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”  Whether it is stress, pressure from family, or a simple case of morning sickness… all of these are considered legitimate grounds for an abortion under current U.S. law. Essentially, a woman can have an abortion at any time, for any stated reason, and it can somehow be related to “health.” Even people who identify as pro-choice would not agree with this ruling.
In fact, a May 2019 Gallup poll indicates that only 25% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal under any circumstances, while 53% would allow it only under certain circumstances.  Unfortunately, the U.S. government refuses to draw any boundaries regarding circumstances for abortion.
So How Relevant is the "Health" Argument?
What About Life-Threatening Issues?
- Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973). IV(c).
- Gallup. (2019). Retrieved 12 Aug. 2019, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx.
- Understanding why women seek abortions in the US M Antonia Biggs, Heather Gould, Diana Greene Foster BMC Womens Health. 2013; 13: 29. Published online 2013 Jul 5. doi: 10.1186/1472-6874-13-29