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Special Report on IVF and Abortion

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A recent New York Times story has highlighted the controversy surrounding "selective reduction" -- in which a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets or more) is "reduced" by aborting some of the babies before birth.


Multiple pregnancies are a common result of in vitro fertilization, since clinics may implant multiple embryos in an effort to increase the chance of a successful pregnancy. If a multiple pregnancy does occur, however, the issue of "selective reduction" (also called "multifetal pregnancy reduction") can arise. In many cases, couples are even pressured to undergo the procedure by medical professionals. 


As researchers Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles note in the following article, this practice is often the result of poor information and coercion. Further, it is often traumatic for the parents, may disrupt bonding with the surviving children and is a risky practice medically. Read on to learn more about this issue.






Targeting "Excess" Children  
Infertility Treatments and the Problem of
"Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction"

Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles


Just as reproductive technologies have changed obstetrical practice, so too have they led to a type of abortion which affects a different population of pregnant women from those who do not want to be pregnant. These women want very much to have a child, and it is ironic that they and their partners who are suffering the problems of infertility must often come face-to-face with abortion.


There is a large literature detailing the psychological distress experienced by couples who wish to have children but who cannot conceive naturally. The following quotation captures the feeling poignantly:


You can't have a baby--a numbness beyond desperation. Baby lust--do you know how it feels to want a baby so much that every other activity in life, everything you've worked for and planned for--jobs, friends, family, marriage, seem hollow as a tin can? To be in emotional pain so extreme that when you see a pregnant woman's stomach or a newborn baby the pain becomes physical?(1)


Continue reading ...



IVF, Mass Production and Coercion
David C. Reardon

Multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) is recommended by the practitioners of artificial reproduction methods on the grounds that it is necessary to safeguard the health of the mother and surviving children. As with other abortion procedures, however, there is little, if any, evidence that this procedure actually attains the desired outcome.


In regard to the other children, MFPR introduces the additional risk of miscarrying all the children. The emotional trauma and self-blame that couples must experience after consenting to MFPR and then miscarrying all of their children, after years of longing, prayer, and payment of huge medical bills to become pregnant, is unimaginable. It has yet to be studied. And how can the pain of this devastated couple be weighed against the joy (tinged with grief) of couples for whom MFPR may have helped to avoid a natural miscarriage?


These points are hinted at in the above article. What is not discussed, however, is the financial motivation of IVF clinics to risk high rates of multiple pregnancies and subsequent MFPR procedures.

Continue reading ...




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Special Report: IVF and Abortion   




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