Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Nihilism and abortion: what to do with triplets?
I read article by Amy Richards today. All I can say is what a fine example of the 'Me' generation. In short, Ms. Richards got bored of taking the pill, and got pregnant with her boyfriend (by mutual choice mind you). Then, when it came time for the initial pre-natal screening, she found out it was triplets. Her thoughts?
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 bed rest 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?

I looked at Peter and asked the doctor: ''Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?'' The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more.

In all honesty, I have no idea to relate to this. Aborting two fetuses because they are ’inconvenient’? I cannot imagine a more self-absorbed, nihilistic waste of life.

For many reasons I think it is ultimately the right and responsibility of the woman to decide if she wishes to carry a child to term. I don’t know, maybe I’m suffering an unreasonable emotional reaction, but this strikes me at gut level as very, very wrong. And what really depresses me is the fact that I have no right to tell this woman that her choice was not valid.

But is it wrong of me to wish for a society where getting rid of two of thee fetuses due to the ‘inconvenience’ of the matter simply wouldn’t be part of the equation? Banning abortion all together is wrong. Anyway, later I read:
I had a boy, and everything is fine. But thinking about becoming pregnant again is terrifying. Am I going to have quintuplets? I would do the same thing if I had triplets again, but if I had twins, I would probably have twins. Then again, I don't know.

Becoming pregnant again. And what if she has to discard some of the fetuses because they don’t fit her schedule? Or her preconceived notions?

Parenting is in many ways a sacrifice of oneself for children. You have to give up some things if you are going to have kids. And maybe, just maybe, that includes your career for a time. If you can’t handle this, if you aren’t prepared for the fact that you become in many ways secondary, then stay on the damn pill! Anything else is a disservice to yourself and your kids. And killing off a couple of them because one is ok but three aren’t convenient right now isn’t a reasonable solution.


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