Friday, August 12, 2011

2 to 1 Reduction

Yesterday, I posted a link to an article from National Right to Life on the new phenomenon of '2 to 1 Reduction Abortions.'  It seems some expectant mothers feel they are not up to the task of raising multiples and have selective abortions to 'reduce' the number of children being carried from 5 to 2, or 2 to 1.  This orignally began as fertility treatments were in their infancy (pun intended) and a women would concieve of 5 or more children at the same time.

What struck me hardest about the article was the comments by a mother who underwent the 'procedure:'

Finally, there is an almost throwaway paragraph that is worth pondering, about a woman who aborted (“selectively reduced”) two of the three babies she was carrying.

Today, her daughter is 2½ years old. Shelby intends to tell her about the reduction someday, to teach her that women have choices, even if they’re sometimes difficult. “I am the mother of a very demanding toddler,” she says. “I can’t imagine this times two, and not ever knowing if I’d have another person here to help me. This is what I can handle. I’m good with this. But that’s all.”

This mother considers it a badge of honor to wear proudly—telling her daughter she’s the sole survivor. This came long after Padawer gingerly touched the topic:

Even if parents work hard to conceal it, the child may discover the full story of his or her origins, and we don’t know what feelings of guilt or vulnerability or loss this discovery might summon.

A riveting piece, which I hope you will read tonight.

What struck me:

I am an identical twin, and conveniently enough, my parents are heading out to Iowa to visit him, his wife and two daughters this weekend.

But the story of our gestation and birth is, um, complicated.  The long and short:

My parents were 27 when my twin brother and I were born, with 4 other children already at home, and running a business together, which they still do.  They didn't know there were two of us in residence, and mom was having all kinds of difficulty with this pregnancy, including several months of bedrest.  (Which my next oldest sister has still never forgive us for!)

Mom started labor 8 weeks early, which is when they found out there were two of us (our hearts were beating in sync up until that point).  They slowed everything down, at least for overnight; meanwhile my older brother fell and and busted his head open, so mom is on the 2nd floor, brother is on the 5th floor, dad had slipped and fallen on ice in the parking lot, grandma and grandpa had the other three (all girls) at home, etc.

What would have happened?  Would my parents, if this was presented today, been offered/invited/pressured?  (That they would have said 'absolutely not' is of no doubt.)

After all, this is the 'loving' thing to do, right?  Because, after all, you can't handle 6 kids, all under 7, right?

(See how the lies of the abortion industry stack up so quickly?)

A priest friend of mine is also an identical twin, but his twin brother died at birth.  In talking one time, he mentioned that he was always looking to be 'complete,' that there was a hole in his heart where his brother had been.  What will this woman's daughter think when at last she knows?  Will she be able to forgive her own mother?


Gail F said...

I read that story yesterday -- well, parts of it, because I couldnt' bear to read the whole thing -- and I felt an obligation to blog about it for the radio station. But I just can't, it's too distressing on so many levels.

I have read other reactions from twins, most of which are just like yours. I can't imagine any mother telling a child that she had killed its twin on purpose because it would just be too hard to raise twins. It is so horrifying. And the more you think about it, the more horrifying it gets. How did she choose which one to kill? At random? In that case, the child will know its life was just as valued (not at all valued) as the other's. He or she could have been killed as easily as the other, and with as little mourning from the parents. Because of its sex or size or apparent ill health? In that case the child will know that whatever made it the favored one is the direct reason for the other one's death!!! Of course this is true of the sibling of any aborted child, but to have it be the twin killed in the same womb while the other child lives!!!!! It is abominable.

What is worse is some of the comments on the New Yorker web site from people who say that it is no one's business what the parents do. Of course, that is one of the only ways you can justify any abortion, but to really believe that an abhorrent murder of a human being is simply not your business because you are not directly involved is so chilling that I can't really bear to think about it.

Gail F said...

Oops, I meant the NYT, not the New Yorker.

And for anyone interested, a piece in the WSJ earlier this year dealt with children pieced together from "parts" all over the world, and then delivered by surrogate mothers. Often, apparently, these children are aborted by parents who have ordered them specially. One "couple" in the story was two gay men who had had their sperm mixed with donated eggs and then implanted in two different women (an attempt to get one pregnancy) -- resulting in two sets of twins. They never bargained on quadruplets, so they "reduced" each pregnancy to just one baby because they supposedly wanted to do the best they could for their children, "the best" apparently including killing two of them.

Tania said...

Oh Kyle, I have come to terms with you and Kurt and have forgiven you - but it still makes for a great middle child story! Maybe you buying those funnel cake fries at the game helped me move on in life!!! Ha ha...anyways, thanks again for a great time last night!!!

The Reviewer said...

This spiritual blog may be of interest my friend -

jamie said...

just can't wrap my head around the mindset than children are expendable.
There are plenty of choices...deciding life is not one of them. Ugg.
Guess my twins (all 3 sets of them) can be grateful God chose me for them...:)

And Tania...middle child! Me too! That explains much:)

Lady.Rosary said...

It's such a cruel world. Poverty has affected even our decisions on what is supposed to be upheld. Life is precious no matter how we try to justify the cause of our actions.