Monday, September 05, 2011


I am going to tell you right now that this is a touchy subject. I read this article today about twin reduction- aborting one twin because while you want to be pregnant, you only want to come out with one baby, not two. The whole concept gave me chills, even though I've always said quite honestly that the idea of carrying, and then caring for, twins terrifies me. But the article was extremely thought provoking, touching on lots of the blurry ethical lines being crossed ever since reproduction stopped being seen as a mysterious act of God and became something very much within our own hands, provided we have the money and determination.

While I can say without doubt that I would never reduce a twin pregnancy simply because twins are not my ideal, I have much less idea of what I would do with, say, the option of IVF. Is the whole thing creepy and against nature? Or a marvelous gift- even a miracle- for those otherwise infertile? What do you do with leftover embryos? Do you only implant one at a time so that you don't chance a risky multiple pregnancy, even though then your odds of conceiving at all might go down? There are so many questions, and I guess I'm just very thankful this is a bridge we never had to cross. Though I suppose really you could say that my use of Clomid to help conceive Eli, or our use of ultrasound to check on our fetus's health, not to mention the option of amnios or other prenatal screenings- all of these are playing God to a certain extent too, aren't they?

What do you all think of fertility/science related issues, from birth control pills to selective reduction? Are we playing God, or is this just another medical advancement, like organ transplantation or antibiotics? How far would you go, if it seemed like your only chance to be a parent?


Swistle said...

I find this subject so, so interesting! I think it's likely to get you a passionate comments section with Strong Feelings, so I'm glad I'm first: my plan is to make this positive and enthusiastic remark of shared interest, and then TAKE OFF AND NOT LOOK BACK. It's something I'd want to talk about over coffee, though!

Tracy said...

Man. that's a hard subject over all. The twin selective abortion- is not something we would ever do. We just heard a story last week about a lady who was pregnant with twins, one with down syndrome. They aborted the one they thought had down syndrome, only to find out later that they aborted the wrong baby. So, that went back in and aborted the remaining baby. I just can't imagine the emotional upheaval of that.

Scottish Twins said...

I guess I'll go there...

This is all so easy for me to say, because I've had zero trouble conceiving and carrying children, but I'm in the not agreeing with a majority of these things camp. For the same reasons that I will not take birth control, I will not participate in anything to help me get pregnant. But once again, that's easy for me to say.

I think that once you are pregnant, if you need medical intervention to sustain a pregnancy that is a different can of worms - you're sustaining life, not creating a new one. That's where this issue is different from organ transplants and antibiotics to me. Organ transplants help to save a life that was already created.

Abortion is murder to me, regardless of the circumstances - unwanted pregnancy, selective reduction, abortion for deformities, and even the disposal of embryos that will not be used. It's life, not a bunch of medical waste to be disposed of.

I actually read somewhere in a blog that there are people who donate their unused embryos to other mothers. It's embryo adoption. I like that idea - it seems like a responsible thing to do with the life you have helped to create.

All of this is just my personal opinion and what I feel comfortable with when I weigh the issues against MY own faith. I realize that everyone believes and interprets Scripture differently, so I don't judge someone who doesn't feel the same way I do or makes different choices. Like I said, it's very easy for me to say these things from where I'm standing.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. Really? It seems so casual, though I'm sure the decision wasn't made that way (I hope - I'm not reading the article). Would I want to have twins? Not particularly, but I don't imagine I could purposefully reduce one. On the other hand, if I were having fertility treatments and ended up with 8 babies, there is no way I think I could have all 8 babies. So maybe I'm just a hypocrite.

Nik-Nak said...

Hmmmmm well first off, I don't think I could do IVF. I am a big believer in just letting things happen and not toying with what is naturally supposed to be or not be. That being said I also don't question the twin reduction thing for other people. I mean, I am so Woman's Choice it's not even funny. So while I see why some people do IVF and are totally justified in doing so, it would be hypocritical of me to say that their decision for twin reduction is bad.
If they can live with it then so can I is my view.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader / lurker deciding to post a comment for a change. I personally believe in doing whatever a person is comfortable with if you really want to have kids, but I don't believe in selective reductions etc. Hubby & I struggled to fall pregnant. We tried Clomid for a long, long time and were preparing to go the route of AI and possibly IVF if the AI failed. Lucky for us we tried a different doc & discovered all I needed was a trigger shot to make me ovulate. Huh. Anyway, the point is that because we were using fertility treatments & the chance of multiples was increased we had to discuss what we would do in that event. We'd be fine with twins, but I have to admit that trips or more would be a bit much. We agreed that if we went the IVF route we would never use more than 1-2 at a time, as we didn't want to terminate, and I would have donated any unused embryos as I can't imagine having them destroyed. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to make a decision like that, or tp have to selectively terminate, but I think if you are going the IVF route etc, don't implant more than what you'd be happy to carry to term and care for.

Jim said...

to me calling deciding to kill an unborn child WOMAN's CHOICE is the same as calling a slave owner's decision to kill a slave or a husband beating his wife MAN's CHOICE.

if you lived in the 1800s, would it be hypocrytical to say that the decision to kill a slave is bad? i mean a slave is not a real person and has no rights... right? MAN's CHOICE!

if you lived in the early 1900s, would it be hypocrytical to say your neighboor who beats his wife because he drinks too much is bad? i mean she is just a woman after all... MAN's CHOICE!

if you lived in afghanistan, would it be hypocrtical to say killing a female relative who dishonored the family by backing out of an arranged marraige is bad? i mean she is just a woman after all... MAN's CHOICE!