Selective Murder

This article, highlighting moral issues that arise when in vitro fertilization yields multiple babies, is worth your time. A new term, 'selective reduction,' has been coined to describe the murder of babies, sacrificed either for the goal of the healthy delivery of the murdered baby's sibling, or simply for the mother's ease. Here are a few clips from this gut-wrenching article:

The Washington Post Magazine publishes an extensive report on the practice of "selective reductions," taking us into the practice of Dr. Mark Evans in Manhattan. This article is not for the faint-hearted.
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As Mundy reports, Dr. Evans has attempted to define his own set of "guiding principles" in terms of the ethics of his practice. At first, he refused to take the gender of the babies into consideration. Now, he does so -- allowing couples to choose to carry one boy fetus and one girl fetus, while killing the others. He also refused at first to "reduce" pregnancies from twins to single babies, because he admits that there is no danger to fetal health posed by a twin. He changed his policy on that too. When some couples want just a single child, he will now "reduce" to one.

Clearly, Dr. Evans' "guiding principles" are really "sliding principles." He is making up his ethical system as he goes along.

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[During the sonogram prior to selecting which child to murder:] ...there was nothing anomalous about any of the fetuses. Greenbaum turned the screen toward the patient. "That's the little heartbeat," she said, pointing to the area where a tiny organ was clearly pulsing. "And there are the little hands. There's the head. The body."

"Oh, my God, I can really see it!" the patient cried. "Oh, my God! I can see the fingers!"

"Okay!" she said, abruptly, gesturing for the screen to be turned away. She began sobbing. There were no tissues in the room, so her husband gave her a paper towel, which she crumpled to her face. The patient spent the rest of the procedure with her hospital gown over her face, so she would not see any more of what was happening.

She can hide her face under a hospital gown, but she knows exactly what is happening. One of her babies is to be killed with an injection of poison.

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Read Dr. Mohler's heartbreaking article, The Revenge of Conscience, here.


Serena said...

The title of this post was verrry eye-catching.

I've never been able to wrap my mind around how someone can KNOW they are pregnant with babies, yet still willingly murder one of them. That poor woman (in the second excerpt). I can't imagine how she feels. Oh, it makes me so sad. I just want to help her or, or SOMETHING. How could someone do that? The guilt she and her husband will live with must be overwhelming.

S. said...

There should be much more regulation of the infertility industry. There should be a limit to how many babies can be implanted (i.e. 2) and insurance should cover IVF, because at least then people would be less likely to implant so many babies. I agree with the above commenter. I just cannot even imagine living with that guilt.

Oh, I found your blog through Ordinary Time.

*~Tamara~* said...

I always have to remind myself to breathe when I read something like this.

This Evans decided, based on location, to go for fetus C, which was the most accessible. is overwhelming to me. Because a baby was sweetly growing in his mother's womb in a particular place that day, he was eliminated. A life cut short, wiped out, tossed aside. All because that day he slipped this way or that in his mother's tummy, and ended up being the easiest to dispose of.

What have we become?

Mandi, Sean, Peyton and Dylan said...

Wow. I just read the full Washington Times article, and I'm literally having trouble breathing. I don't get their justifications. I don't get how they can see their babies on a screen and choose to kill them. I don't get how they can call it anything other than murder. It makes me want to scream and yell and weep all at the same time.

Sealjoy said...

I cannot fathom seeing your own children and choosing to end one's life. I flinch every time my kids do things that could hurt them, beat myself up mentally if i let them hit their head, or skin their knee and I couldn't get there fast enough. I now understand that I see things that could happen if my kids touch the wrong thing or I now know what it is like to want to be overprotective....

Knowing all this, I am in tears thinking of all the lovely beautiful lives that are lost to human pride and selfishness. We wonder why we can't cure things or delvope gardening techniques to feed the world, why would God give us that knowledge, when we probably murdered the persons capable of doing so.

Help meet said...

I was stunned at this article, and how this doctor and these women are playing God. It seems pretty obvious to me that these people know they are doing something very wrong.
During the, "procedure," one of the women wanted to cover her face with her hospital gown, another woman didn't want to see the disposed "fetus," and there's the woman who works at the clinic who commented on how hard it was to sometimes have to chase the "fetus" down with the needle, to inject and "dispose" of it!
I had to hold my baby extra close after reading this article, and thank God that in all my imperfections as a mother, I at least gave her a chance at life.
The only comfort I can take here is knowing that these babies, though unloved by their own mothers, are loved and now safely with God in Heaven.

Anna S said...


I probably won't read the article because abortions are such a sensitive issue with me that whenever I read about them I get all worked up for days!

I used to be in favor of IVF because I thought the desire to have children is noble. But then I reconsidered when I read about how it's actually done - implantation of multiple fetuses "just in case", then killing "the spares". Can't people demand that, say, only 2 fetuses are implanted in the first place? Or just go for adoption?! There are so many children in this world who have no parents and need our love...

CappuccinoLife said...

I'm sickened. Truly.

She saw the baby, and thought covering her face would cover the fact that her baby was murdered?

Whenever that woman sees her other children, she is going to see the one that was killed, and it will haunt her. :(

It's bad enough that doctors perform these procedures. How can mothers with full knowledge, even having *seen* the baby, do this?

Buffy said...

I believe that in the UK at least they rarely try to fertilise and implant in the womb more than three eggs now. In fact they tend to encourage women to go with one or two to avoid this very scenario. I think people rush into IVF sometimes without thinking through the full implications.