Do You Think It's Ethical To Reduce Healthy Multiple Fetuses To One Fetus?

The New York Times recently hit the ethical question jackpot after posting an article about the controversial practice of reducing (technically aborting)...
The New York Times recently hit the ethical question jackpot after posting an article about the controversial practice of reducing (technically aborting) a baby when pregnant with twins. The piece, entitled, The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, looks at women and their families who have decided to reduce a multiple pregnancy to a single pregnancy. The article covers women in different situations including women who are pregnant with two healthy babies, yet abort one for financial or other reasons along with women who have had trouble carrying a pregnancy so they want to increase their odds of at least one baby surviving. The piece also gathered various doctors opinions which ranged from being okay with this practice, to only doing a reduction if something is wrong (say, like a medical condition with a baby or mother), to doctors who refuse to perform a reduction at all. The piece reports that while still fairly rare, pregnancy reduction is becoming more common as time goes on. Likely, partially because IVF is becoming more common as well, and as you may have heard IVF is linked to multiple pregnancies. The article is a fascinating, but somewhat unsettling read. While I personally support mother choice, I'm also a bit taken aback that a woman carrying twins would abort one, especially in cases where both babies are healthy and when a woman has turned to expensive fertility treatments with the goal of becoming pregnant in mind in the first place. On the flip-side, I haven't walked in these women's shoes and multiples do carry a larger health risk for both the babies and mother; although twin pregnancies aren't considered as high risk as higher multiples. My main issue with this article is that it candy-coated the situation using terms like half-abortion and pregnancy reduction. I get it, because this is a touchy situation. Also, let's be very clear, I am a staunch advocate of women's choice in all things medically related. However, if a woman is going to make a choice that involves her body and her fetus, she should be allowed to consider the actual realities of that choice, and really, there's no such thing as the choice of a half-abortion. It's a woman's right to have an abortion, but that comes with the responsibility of understanding the procedure, not an imaginary half-procedure. There are seriously 20 pages of reader comments on this piece, showing that the topic has hit a major nerve, both with supporters of pregnancy reduction and folks who think this practice is ethically questionable or downright wrong. The whole thing, article and comments are well worth a read - The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy. Has this issue hit a major nerve with you as well? Is it ethically to abort a healthy twin under any circumstance, or only if there's a medical problem? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

Tags: abortion pregnancy reduction reduce a twin pregnancy twin baby twin baby care twin baby costs

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