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Looking A Little Deeper

Over the weekend there was a collective uproar over an article in The New York Times about Amy Richards. One is hard pressed to read the story and come away feeling anything but repulsed by the thought process behind the choice she made.

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?
It's pretty much me, me, me, me, me from top to bottom.

For the legions of sites that have gotten up on their pedestal an proclaimed her an evil incarnate (See the Technorati links) baby murderer I invite you to read a much more thorough examination of the issues of multiples. Read How Many Is Too Many? by Lisa Barrett Mann in todays Washington Post if you want the full story of the issues raised in multiple births. Richards is an aberration - the families in Mann's story are not.

The problem is the issue of selective reduction is significantly more complex in the real world than it is in the pages of the Sunday Times Magazine.

Comments (4)

When you argue that you nee... (Below threshold)

When you argue that you need to kill 2 babies or you might have to shop at Costco, you shouldn't expect too much sympathy.

Besides, your argument conveniently ignores adoption.

THOUSANDS of people would walk on glass for those children.

I have no sympathy for her.... (Below threshold)

I have no sympathy for her. She does great injustice to a medical issue facing those very same parents (the ones who would walk on glass for a baby) when the go for fertility treatments.

This is the mentality that ... (Below threshold)

This is the mentality that supports abortion-on-demand. I am the father of (conventionally, naturally conceived) triplets, and I invite anyone to engage me (or my wife) in a debate regarding which of my seven year-old girls shouldn't have been born. Abortion is one of the main reasons I'm convinced that generations in the future will regard ours as a time of wholesale barbarism.

There are so many infuriating aspects of this story, from the fact that she didn't continue taking contraceptive pills because she didn't like the way they made her feel, to the moment when she tells her boyfriend, and father of her unborn children that his opinion is indicative of why women are given the choice instead of men.

As to "how many is too many?" No, it's not that complicated a matter. Life is life is life. A couple with several kids can't shoot one or two in the head because they're having trouble making ends meet, or they can't afford a new Lexus. Neither should a couple who find themselves granted multiples have the option of killing a baby or two just because having two or three infants might cramp their lifestyle.

Is Ann Richards evil incarnate? No, just his mouthpiece. And yes, Kevin, she is a baby murderer, just as much as Andrea Yates.

When I look at this woman's... (Below threshold)

When I look at this woman's story, I'm rather horrified. You rightfully point out, however, the question of multiple births. When you're looking at a situation in which you believe you can't care for all the children adequately for financial reasons, or carrying all three (or four, five, six, seven or eight) children to term would result in the babies being less healthy overall, then, yes, aborting children is an ethically defensible option.

But this woman, with her worries that she would become a suburban mom if she gave birth to three children rather than one? Given the information in the story, I am tempted to question whether she is suitable to be mother of one child, let alone three.







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