According to a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, women are jumping on the apparently white-hot trend of aborting one healthy fetus in a twin pregnancy. Why? Because some of them only want or can only afford one child. One mother in particular, "Jenny," was pregnant with twins at the age of 45 due in large part to in vitro fertilization. However, she only yearned for one, so she turned the duo into a solo act. NYT Magazine, via Mommy Files, has her story:
"Things would have been different if we were 15 years younger or if we hadn't had children already or if we were more financially secure," Jenny told the Times. "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."
Although such pregnancy reductions with twins are comparatively rare, The Mommy Files notes that "hospitals are reporting increasing numbers." A very slight increase, that is. As a twin, we were personally curious about this decision. How does one decide which one goes, we wondered. In an effort to find out more, we spoke with San Francisco's Planned Parenthood.
"Are you seeing an upswing in twin reduction procedures?" we asked.
"Hmm. Well, we can't discuss any of that information, unfortunately," the lady at Planned Parenthood explained.
Looking to investigate this alleged trend further, we called our own mother to ask her if, given the choice, whom would she have aborted back in the 1970s: your SFist editor or his sister. This was not the sharpest move. Here's how our conversation went. Ahem:
SFist: Hi. Quick question for you. Apparently, women are now deciding to abort one fetus in their twin pregnancy. While you were pregnant with us, and if you had to choose due to financial circumstances or whatnot, whom would you have had eliminated: me or Sarah?
SFist: Like, OK, you know how you already have an older son, older than me. Well, given your druthers, would you have opted to eliminate the male fetus or the female fetus? If you had wanted to, that is. I'm thinking it would've been me, right?
Mom: Why would you even think of asking me something like this?
SFist: This is going to be on SFist, by the way.
Mom: Brock, I'm hanging up now. Bye. [click]