April 24, 2024


Two recent stories in the media reflect the difficulty of taking a consistent ethical stand on abortion rights. Susanne M. Sanchez, of Miami, Florida, wrote in the New York Times of her decision to keep all of her IVF triplets even though her doctor recommended “foetal reduction”. He told her that if one of her triplets were killed, the other two would have a better chance of surviving pregnancy without serious handicaps.

“While I am a feminist who believes in abortion rights, this was not the choice I had in mind,” wrote Ms Sanchez. “To spend years and tens of thousands of dollars trying to conceive a baby only to end with discussions of an abortion seemed to me an especially cruel twist of fate. But what would we do if the triplets were born with serious handicaps?”

As it happened, the triplets are now four years old and healthy, although they were born prematurely and spent a long time in intensive care.