Special Report on “Selective Reduction” Abortions: The Impact on Parents and Families

A recent New York Times Magazine 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 have noted, 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. Learn more about this issue in our special report at http://www.theunchoice.com/specialreports/IVFandabortion2.htm


Special Report on “Selective Reduction” Abortions: The Impact on Parents and Families — 2 Comments

  1. Okay, first off: I personally am appalled that this is even an issue. It’s weird enough to concieve children artificially, but I am beyond disgusted that someone can be selfish enough to kill their own child, who is perfectly healthy. Why?, because they “didn’t want it”. Well, how would you feel if your mother “reduced” you? If you are artificially inseminated, most people have enough brain cells to know that there is a high possibility of multiple fetuses. If you didn’t want the extra kids, you shouldn’t have done the IVF/surrogacy/whatever. Seriously, grow up.

    • It is very important to realize that for most couples, “reduction” is not a selfish choice. Far more often than not, they are being advised, even pressured to abort by doctors who tell them it is irresponsible to not “reduce” the pregnancy–failing to do so, they insist, threatens the lives of all the unborn children. Many women will go to the fertility clinic and tell them in advance, “I won’t have a reduction.” But the clinic ignores this and implants multiples with reassurances and when multiples take, begin a relentless “you have to reduce” campaign, week after week, telling the woman this same thing until she gives in. Why? Because fertility clinics want to be able to report a higher rate of successful pregnancies carried to term. Report a low rate, and you get few customers. Report a high rate, you will get more customers. So they are strongly motivated to implant multiples to increase the chance that at least one thrives, and when multiple babies grow, to “reduce” them to make sure that at least one is born alive. In regard to profits, statistics matter more than the lives.

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