Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy: Commentary

The New York Times had an article recently on the termination of the life of one of a pair of twins conceived through IVF, "The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy". This is yet another aspect of the onward march of the culture of death.
I have BLOGGED previously on the issue of IVF and its consequences which include the wholesale destruction of unwanted embryos. It also objectifies children and contributes to the idea that ‘you can have whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want’.  Objectification of children is ‘part of the IVF mentality’, and aborting inconvenient children is both routine and encouraged.
The rationalisation of the action by the woman is an important aspect of the story and despite the fact that she felt guilty about proceeding with it she went ahead. Her rationalisation also highlights the central issue that IVF is an unnatural procedure. It also highlights the the cul-de-sac into which people who glorify choice are led
“Things would have been different if we were 15 years younger or if we hadn’t had children already or if we were more financially secure,” she said later. “If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”
The article then evaluates the action in the following terms;
"For all its successes, reproductive medicine has produced a paradox: in creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend. In the mid-1980s, they devised an escape hatch to deal with these megapregnancies, terminating all but two or three fetuses to lower the risks to women and the babies they took home. But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins. With that, pregnancy reduction shifted from a medical decision to an ethical dilemma. As science allows us to intervene more than ever at the beginning and the end of life, it outruns our ability to reach a new moral equilibrium. We still have to work out just how far we’re willing to go to construct the lives we want."

It is clear that even those who are pro-abortion are uncomfortable with this action as is evident from many of the column inches that have been written about the issue.  The following link to an article on the Catholic Moral Theology BLOG entitled The ethics of reduction abortions is worth reading as is John Smeaton's BLOG on the issue