Cross posted from the Culture Vulture.
Owen Strachan has posted a great article on his blog about the discomfort that readers of the New York Times have expressed about an article which discussed the practice of aborting one twin in a multiple pregnancy situation (euphemistically known as ‘pregnancy reduction’).
Interestingly, while this practice is just making the mainstream media now, it isn’t actually something new and it has been going on (even here in NZ) for many years.
Here’s what Owen had to say…
Those who read about the New York Times magazine story on “pregnancy reductions” (a euphemism for the abortion of one or more gestating babies) on this and other blogs might find this graphic from the NYT interesting.
It’s a bit hard to make out (click here for the link to the graphic), but it shows that a majority of commenters on the Times‘s website found the story hard to bear. The commenters are undoubtedly from a wide range of backgrounds, but the range of responses recorded to the left show a profound discomfort with the practice of “reducing” twins from a mother’s womb. This response is heartening. Part of comprehending the world aright is being unsettled by ghastly things.
Also worth noting: 21 people responded by noting that they are twins and “couldn’t imagine life without their twin.” I can scarcely imagine what it would be like to bear the continual memory of a child aborted in the womb, let alone to be visibly reminded of this abortion on a daily basis by the presence of the living twin. In the smile, the childish ebullience, the sleeping face of one’s child, one would always see the frail image of another, departed brother or sister. This sounds like the subject material of a particularly dark work of fiction, but it is not. It is the reality for a growing numbers of dads and moms.
Ghosts are not real, but they can almost be real.
I am reminded of the chilling scene from The Pianist when, awaiting deportation to Treblinka, a mother wails, for hours and hours, “Why did I do it?” She had smothered her baby to avoid being discovered by Nazi guards and was haunted to the point of insanity by her decision. I think modern parents choosing “pregnancy reduction” may face such realities…