No Situation Justifies Taking The Life of a Baby in the Womb

November 2006

A mother in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, refused chemotherapy in order to save the life of her child in the womb (according to, July 31). Laura Alejandra Figueroa, at only age 39, decided to postpone chemotherapy until after her baby's birth. This was her ninth child. The cancer has now spread to her brain and is considered irreversible.

Mrs. Figueroa said: "Today, more than ever, there are people who are against life, who want to legalize abortion, which I consider an abominable crime.... I would like all women who are pregnant to remember that no situation, no matter how difficult, justifies taking the life of the baby in their womb. Not even in cases of rape or the life of the mother.... I want my child [Pedro, who was born] to know that I love him and that I will always love him, that I will give my life for him if necessary." (Mrs. Figueroa died on August 9.)

Wow! What a statement!

However, if there is universal salvation, why bother? Abortion is then not an "abominable crime" -- God automatically forgives everything. It's obvious that Mrs. Figueroa does not believe in universal salvation.

DOSSIER: Abortion

New Oxford Notes: November 2006

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This woman may well have exercised heroic virtue. However, sinner that I am, I can't help but ask, who's raising the nine children? and further, it should be noted, that the other eight children suffered the death of their mother in order for the ninth child to live. This poses a final question: were the lives of the eight extant children and the life of the mother worth less than that of the unborn child? Posted by: Caroline
November 01, 2006 06:21 PM EST
Open this woman's cause now! Posted by: Fr_Richard
October 31, 2006 10:14 PM EST
Caroline, the point is that it is God's place to decide who lives and who dies. We play a dangerous game any time we try to take that decision out of His hands. We play a dangerous game, as well, any time we try to make decisions over which lives are worth more and which are worth less. Posted by: Fr_Richard
November 03, 2006 07:44 AM EST
Caroline, you ask:

"were the lives of the eight extant children and the life of the mother worth less than that of the unborn child?"

We are not talking about switching the right to live among the children, she did not sacrifice the life of any of her other kids to save Pedro. Second, unless she's had a kid per year, some of them are probably in the mid to late teens and can take some responsibility to help with the younger ones. Finally, this is where we are called to help one another. Those of us who are close to the family should lend a hand and those of us who are not should pray for them and help those in our community who are in a difficult situation.
Posted by: jrcarbon
November 15, 2006 07:40 AM EST
St Gianna Molla was canonized a few years ago. She had caccer and sacrificed her life for her unborn child. She had three other young children. She spoke of her concern about her other other children and put them in God's hands. The child she died for became a pediatrician (like her mother) and spoke at her mother's canonization. Her husband had nothing but praise for her; yet ne noted life was difficult without his wife. God bless Mrs. Figueroa .. I'm with Fr. Richard. Who wouldn't want a mother like that! Thank you, Mrs. Figueroa!!!!! The world needs more women with such a love. Posted by: tomreynolds46
November 15, 2006 06:45 PM EST
While her act was heroic, it was beyond the call of duty!

Church teaching allows treatment to save the life of the mother, as long as the miscarriage (NOT ABORTION!) is a possible and unintended side effect. In this light, I admit her heroism, but question her wisdom, and certainly do not see her as a candidate for canonization.

Posted by: blueskies
November 30, 2006 08:46 AM EST

you are quite right that is heroic, but beyond the call of duty? You might try reading some of the early father's on martyrdom before making such a suggestion. We need more examples of this, not fewer.

As far as her children, I trust that they, like the children of Gianna Molla, have not lost their mother, but have gained a saint in heaven to watch over them. They will do better than most I suspect.

Posted by: mightyduk
November 30, 2006 03:14 PM EST
The fact that her actions were heroic and beyond the call of duty is exactly why I think her cause should be opened. Candidates for canonization are those who lived lifes of heroic virtue, not ordinary virtue.

She gave up her own life so that her child could live. It sounds to me as if she followed the example of Jesus Christ. Her story should be told far and wide, especially today as the Church battles the Culture of Death.

I repeat: Open this woman's cause now!
Posted by: Fr_Richard
December 01, 2006 07:44 AM EST
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