Last week, The New York Times Magazine ran a horrifying story about a woman who conceived twins through IVF and then terminated one of the babies (referred to as pregnancy reduction). The biggest issue to note is that the woman who is aborting one twin (as is the case in many of these situations) is doing so out of convenience and preference for her and not because of her concern for the babies (which is still no excuse). Dr. Denny Burk and Dr. Albert Mohler have both commented on this article and I’ve included a couple of excerpts below.
Dr. Denny Burk introduces us to the topic:
The New York Times Magazine has a heartbreaking article on yet another monument to the culture of death—pregnancy reduction. In case you have never heard the term, here’s what pregnancy reduction is in a nutshell. When a pregnant mother is carrying two or more babies in her womb, she can choose to kill one or more of those babies while allowing others to live. According to pro-choicers, pregnancy reduction is a practice that began years ago to reduce health risks for women carrying multiples. Pro-choicers have also reasoned that pregnancy reduction increases chances for surviving multiples to make it to term. But that was then, and this is now. What began as a misguided attempt to help women and (some!) unborn babies, has now devolved into the slippery slope. Now, the procedure is increasingly performed on women carrying twins. In fact, the Times article focuses in particular on the increasing number of women who carry twins but who for whatever reason only want one of them to live. The reasons for killing one and letting the other live range from finances to time-management.
In this article, the euphemism “pregnancy reduction” is a rouse. It is a term that attempts to cover-up a great moral evil. The expression plainly functions to deflect attention from an intolerable contradiction—that one unborn child might be allowed to live while its perfectly healthy sibling is destroyed. But the covering is a fig leaf, and that is seen most conspicuously in the troubled consciences of the mothers and medical professionals in this article who have participated in this procedure.
At the end of the day, it’s not just the euphemism that is the problem. It is the heinous evil that the euphemism is trying to hide that should scandalize us. Reducing a pregnancy means killing an innocent human. Just as we don’t want to give in to the mores of a decadent culture, neither should we be complicit in covering evil with clever obfuscations. Such talk is a not-too subtle throwback to an ancient method that humans use to justify sin—calling evil good and calling good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Make no mistake. God is outraged at that, and so should we.
Dr. Albert Mohler‘s commentary begins:
Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or so deadly as “reduction” — a word that sounds like math, but really means murder. The August 14, 2011 edition of The New York Times Magazine makes this fact clear in its cover story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.”
“The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy” is one of the most significant articles of recent years. With chilling and unflinching candor, Ruth Padawer virtually forces her readers to see the twisted thinking that justifies the killing of the unborn, and then she tries to evade moral responsibility by calling the procedure a “reduction.”
There is a story behind this story, of course. The intersection where modern reproductive technologies and legal abortion meet is now a deadly place for many unborn babies. In the name of personal preference and for “social reasons,” some women now demand that their multiple babies be aborted so that they will have only the one baby they want.
Padawer says that many Americans are uneasy about this knowledge, perhaps “because the desire for more choices conflicts with our discomfort about meddling with ever more aspects of reproduction.”
But the procedure so dishonestly called “reduction” is really not about mere “meddling.” It is murder.
I would encourage you to read the original article in its entirety and pray for these precious babies who are losing their lives to “preference.” God hears their cries.