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'The Two-Minus One Pregnancy'

1:49 PM, Aug 15, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Two minus one is a subtraction problem. If you have two, but only want one, just subtract another, right?  Well, that's how the New York Times Magazine describes it.

But they aren't solving a math problem--they are talking about pregnant women. As Rachel Abrams writes

The child-killing advocacy is couched in the tender understatement of current reproductive-speak—“pregnancy reduction”; “ethical dilemma”; “moral equilibrium”; “choice revolution”; “two-to-one patients” “options”—but the euphemisms are plenty crude enough, and anyway the truth will [come] out...

Abrams then goes on to quote these paragraphs from the Times story:

Consider the choice of which fetus to eliminate: if both appear healthy (which is typical with twins), doctors aim for whichever one is easier to reach. If both are equally accessible, the decision of who lives and who dies is random. To the relief of patients, it’s the doctor who chooses—with one exception. If the fetuses are different sexes, some doctors ask the parents which one they want to keep.
Until the last decade, most doctors refused even to broach that question, but that ethical demarcation has eroded, as ever more patients lobby for that option and doctors discover that plenty opt for girls. . . .
The doctors who do reductions sometimes sense their patients’ unease, and they work to assuage it. “I do spend quite a bit of time going through the medical risks of twins with them, because it takes away a little bit of the guilt they feel,” says [one] doctor.

Read Abrams's devastating post here.

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