"Cold utilitarianism and disquieting narcissism."
"Selective reduction." Just when you thought you'd heard every euphemism in the "pro-choice" movement's book (see "The Abortion Distortion," National Review, (July 12, 2004)), along comes a chilling article in this weekend's New York Times Magazine entitled "When One is Enough." In it, feminist author Amy Richards tells of her experience with aborting two of three triplets, in a process she calls "selective reduction."
Miss Richards's account of her abortions is disturbing in its candor. A thirty-something freelance writer living with her boyfriend, she described her reaction when told that she was pregnant not with one baby -- which she would have accepted -- but with three:
My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bedrest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?
She described other reasons compelling her decision to abort her unborn children, such as having "to be on bed rest at 20 weeks," not being "able to fly after 15," and thinking that she would "have to move to Staten Island," and be doomed to a life of "shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise."
Apparently within moments of finding out about her multiple pregnancy, she found her route to retail salvation. She asked her doctor whether it was "possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?" Her article then describes her process of "selective reduction," in which her doctor first did a sonogram "to see if one fetus appears to be struggling." The doctor and mother then choose which of the children are to die by a lethal injection of potassium chloride. In her case, since she wanted to "reduce" the number of children from three to one, that meant two had to be selected for reduction -- or as Miss Richards describes, making "two disappear." So after learning from her doctor that she was pregnant with two twins and a "stand alone" that was, in the doctor's view, a few days older, she chose to keep the "stand alone." "There was something psychologically comforting about that," she writes, "since I wanted to have just one."
Read the entire article on the National Review Online website.