Post details: Are You Sure You're Pro-Choice?

Wed, 21 July 2004

Permalink 12:29:27 am

Are You Sure You're Pro-Choice?

It's not often I write about really serious subjects on here, but sometimes you read something that so knocks you sideways that you start to question your own opinions.

This story in the New York Times, via Washington Monthly, tells the story of a mother who, after finding out she was pregnant with triplets, had an abortion. Except she only aborted two of them and kept the other one.
'I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. Even in my moments of thinking about having three, I don't think that deep down I was ever considering it.'

The immediate reaction to this is one of revulsion - aborting two and keeping one just because it would change your life too much seems just wrong. But how is this different to aborting a single fetus just because it was unplanned? I have always considered myself to be pro-choice, but I can't see any moral argument why this is worse.

Should we only allow the termination of all fetus in cases like these? But then you're forcing the mother to deny one of them life, and that doesn't seem right. If it's for medical reasons or after rape then decision is a completely different on, so perhaps the motive should be examined? But again, how is this different to aborting a single fetus because it will get in the way of your career? I think I'm going to need some time on this one.
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Comment from Anon
How is this going to affect the child that was spared their life if they come to know about this later in life, or will the mother hide this dark secret for the rest of the childs life?
21/07/04 @ 11:42
Comment from Stuart · http://www.ivorysky.com
Exactly. I'm not trying to justify this mother's actions, but try to see why this is any different to aborting a single fetus.
21/07/04 @ 12:01
Comment from Isaac Z. Schlueter · http://isaacschlueter.com
It's NOT any different, plain and simple.

In every case of "justified" abortion:
1. It would be bad for the mother to give birth to a fetus.
2. An abortion is the best way to solve the problem. (Often, it's the only way to solve the problem, but not necessarily.)
3. She gets an abortion.

That's what abortions are for. Props to the mother for trimming her litter down to a manageable size. It's perfectly moral to do so.

You say that it's ok when it's basically "the mother's life over the baby's" (rape, incest, danger, etc.) What about the mother's happiness and wellbeing? The childrens' quality of life? I completely understand her decision, and see nothing wrong with it.

Of course, it's undoubtedly easier for someone who doesn't want kids to make the decision to have an abortion. Perhaps that is the source of the revulsion? It must have been extremely painful for her to make that choice, but nevertheless, it was hers to make, and it may well have been the best option. If so, she should be praised.
03/08/04 @ 06:11

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