Contrary to Republican Rep. Joe Walsh's belief, pregnancy can cause life threatening complications, even with modern-day technology.
Rep. Walsh stated that he is anti-abortion without exception for rape, incest, or life or health of the mother. He defended his ideology with the statement, "This is an issue that opponents of [pro-] life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There is no such exception as life of the mother and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions for any time under any reason."
However, there are conditions such as ectopic pregnancy and preeclampsia that can be fatal to an expecting mother.
An ectopic pregnancy is a medical condition where the fertilized eggs stay in the fallopian tube. It is often caused by a slow moving fertilized egg. Even worse, in rare cases the fertilized egg can attach itself to either an ovary or organ in your abdomen. More times than not, to treat an ectopic pregnancy, surgical or medical abortion is needed. Without medical intervention, the fallopian tube may rupture, which can result in severe injury or death.
Preeclampsia, which is when a pregnancy woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine following the 20th week, is another condition that has remained treated by modern-day technology. Many physicians suggest delivery as a way to ensure the condition does not become fatal.
Preeclampsia and gestational high blood pressure occur in about six to eight percent of pregnancies nationwide, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, liver and kidney disease all can be worsened by pregnancy.
Alison Cahill, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington St. Louis School of Medicine and a high-risk obstetrician, has treated several women with pre-exiting conditions or other illnesses that causes medical problems during their pregnancy.
"I wish that modern science and modern medicine cured all of those things, but unfortunately that's just simply not true," Cahill told LiveScience.