The Old Mixer, Picard&co let a whole species be destroyed rather than interfere - and they were proud about it. In Redemption, the Prime Directive was more important than the future survival of the federation.
The Prime Directive was most definitely taken to that extreme - which was repeatedly demonstrated throughout the shows.
Picard may have chosen to act in this fashion based on the Prime Directive, but there are only a handful of examples of enforcement for violations of the Prime Directive: Omega Glory and Into Darkness. Indeed, Into Darkness is the only example of punishment for violation of the Prime Directive. Without JJ Abrams' interference, there would be no examples of enforcement of the Prime Directive for preventing the extinction of a species. The ethics of interference in extinction would be entirely debatable, and not clearly punishable.