Local doctor says life begins at conception

A local medical professional supports the recent decision by the U.S Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade and outlined his position recently for the Sun-Gazette.

Dr. Russell Gombosi, an internal medicine specialist, made it clear that life begins at conception.

In defending his belief, he refers to the fetus as a distinct individual with a DNA blueprint.

“When we talk about legal life, that is where the debate comes in,” he said.

Gombosi addressed the issue of allowing abortion in some cases, for example, if the mother was raped or is in danger of losing her life to give birth.

He noted that while the need to save the life of a woman is not altogether common in such cases, he could in such instances support aborting the fetus.

“If there is a true situation where the mother’s life is threatened … yes,” he said. “As far as rape, you’d like to see them (mothers) get help immediately. I am not convinced that sacrificing a healthy fetus will solve the problem.”

Gombosi addressed the argument that banning abortions will mean a return to the “back alley” procedures of pre-Roe vs. Wade days which put the lives of pregnant women in danger.

“If you look at the legal rate of abortion, it dramatically increased after 1973. We don’t have data on how many back alley ones there were,” he said. “Would they increase? Maybe.”

Gombosi said he feels a key to prevent abortions is to provide more welcoming and available pre-natal opportunities for women.

Beyond that, medicine has come a long way in the past 50 years.

Gombosi addressed the psychological complications that many women experience following abortions.

Their problems simply don’t go away, as hoped, if they decide on the procedure.

“It’s not a benign thing to have done,” he said. “Women who get abortions are not counseled well.”

He believes there are long-term physical risks as well, he said.

He does not adhere to the position held by many that a woman has a right to decide what to do with her own body, including aborting a fetus.

“It’s not really their body. They are carrying something,” he said. “While the baby is within their body, it is not really part of them. It is a separate entity.”

Moreover, he said, it must be realized that a pregnancy involves not only the potential mother, but other people including the father and family members, even the community.

“Life begins at conception,” he said. “That’s a scientific fact.”

Some polls indicate that most people support a woman’s right to choose.

According to a Pew Research Center Survey, 61% of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Gombosi, for his part, feels that is a misleading statistic.

He noted that nearly 1 million abortions are performed annually, including 90% elective.


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