Posted By Jennie Chancey on August 13, 2011
This chilling piece appeared in this week’s New York Times Magazine. Having recently re-read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, I could only shudder at the clear parallels. We have truly lost our moorings when “reducing” a pregnancy (by aborting one child) can be treated as plain old “consumerism”:
As Jenny lay on the obstetrician’s examination table, she was grateful that the ultrasound tech had turned off the overhead screen. She didn’t want to see the two shadows floating inside her. Since making her decision, she had tried hard not to think about them, though she could often think of little else. She was 45 and pregnant after six years of fertility bills, ovulation injections, donor eggs and disappointment — and yet here she was, 14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion….
“If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.” …
[W]hat began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins. With that, pregnancy reduction shifted from a medical decision to an ethical dilemma. As science allows us to intervene more than ever at the beginning and the end of life, it outruns our ability to reach a new moral equilibrium. We still have to work out just how far we’re willing to go to construct the lives we want….
“Something about that whole situation just seemed unethical to me,” the commentator continued. “I just couldn’t sleep at night knowing that I terminated my daughter’s perfectly healthy twin brother.”
“Reach a new moral equilibrium?” Meaning we can reinvent our morals as we go along to “construct the lives we want?” So it seems. What we really need is a return to the old moral equilibrium–one where human life is not a plaything or a commodity to be created or extinguished for our pleasure or convenience. Human dignity is rooted in the fact that we are created in the image of God, which gives us a transcendent right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That we know this deep down is evidenced by the fact that the women making this horrific choice still have qualms about it and feel guilty–guilty enough that they cannot bear to look at the human life flickering on the ultrasound monitor just before the doctor plunges in the needle to destroy it. God have mercy on us.
Read the entire piece HERE.