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Blohm Letter to the Editor 1/8/21

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To the Editor:

During my career as a country veterinarian, one of my most personally satisfying experiences was assisting the delivery of a live calf, foal, lamb or whatever species. Of course, the reason for my involvement was to relieve a dystocia (a difficult birthing process). In the case of cattle, usually the manipulations of the fetus with controlled extraction pressure, could accomplish a live delivery; or occasionally, a caesarean section would be indicated. However, in cases where the fetus was definitely dead, delivery could be resolved more easily by resecting the fetus — essentially an abortion — which is often required to save the life of the dam, always a critical consideration and goal. This procedure never did resonate the same sense of accomplishment.

Abortion is still a major and controversial political issue — pitting moral and religious considerations against women’s reproductive rights. There might be occasions when human abortion is warranted early in the pregnancy or to save the life of the mother. But, could anyone explain to me why some of those late-term abortion techniques I read about are not simply considered the taking of a human life?

William D. Blohm


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