Posted by: Zsuzsanna | July 11, 2008

What is selective reduction?

I copied the following article from here. My comments are added in brackets in red italics.

What is Selective Reduction?

by Pattie Hughes

Selective reduction is a procedure used to reduce the number of embryos in a multifetal pregnancy. This procedure is sometimes used when too many embryos implant in a pregnancy that is achieved with assisted reproductive technology. When too many embryos implant successfully the chance of carrying the pregnancy to term drops significantly. [I agree. Which is why I am against assisted reproductive technology in the first place. It creates pregnancies with an unnaturally high number of babies, which leads to a number of related problems both physical and ethical. However, if someone still goes ahead and goes through with the procedure, I am certainly in favor of keeping all babies. The same technology that got “parents” in this predicament in the first place has become very sophisticated at ensuring relatively safe outcomes even for those pregnancies. There were two sets of sextuplets born at a hospital in our city in the last year. The babies in both cases were well and healthy. I think parents who chose S/R are not so much concerned about the wellbeing of the children as simply not being willing to take home 3, 4, or more babies at the same time. Also, having a baby that needs to be cared for in the NICU is not the glamorous picture of a bouncing pink baby that selfish IVF parents were hoping to show around.]

Selective reduction is generally used for pregnancies with more than two fetuses. [I hope that doesn’t mean some people actually choose to kill one of two twins. But nothing surprises me any more.] Preventing medical problems in the pregnancy or the loss of all the fetuses is the reason for the procedure. In some cases, fetuses that are considered to be at greater risk for defects are selected for reduction. [Yeah, because who would willingly pick a lesser, i.e. potentially disabled child? Why take the “greater risk for defects” when you can get a perfect specimen? Are these parents being judgmental of their offspring???]

The procedure is done during the first trimester, prior to the twelfth week of pregnancy. If no abnormalities are present in any of the fetuses, the ones that are easiest to reach are selected for reduction. [Does reading this make you sick?] A chemical, usually potassium chloride, is injected into the selected fetuses.

Following the procedure, the fetuses are usually absorbed by the mother’s body. [How can you go to sleep knowing that your body is absorbing the children you killed?] The procedure is not without risk. In some cases, one or all of the remaining fetuses will die as well. This happens in about five percent of cases. Preterm labor is another possible side effect of this procedure. [Wow, that kind of sounds exactly like what happened to Tortua. What a shock! So we aren’t allowed to feel bad that she killed 2 babies, but we do have to pity her for the other 2 dying as well or we will be called heartless, cruel, and judgemental. I feel bad for mothers who legitimately lose a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, or other complications, but not for women whose babies died as a result of their siblings being poisoned in utero.]

Some patients have issues with this procedure, usually for ethical or religious reasons. [That’s me!] Selective reduction is a form of abortion. Pro life patients may object to this procedure for this reason. Even pro choice patients may have problems with selective reduction. A couple who has gone down the long, painful road of infertility may not be able to bear the thought of aborting some of their babies. [Well, apparently, some can.]

There are some things you can do to avoid the need for selective reduction. [It’s called being normal and doing what married people do.] You can find a pro life infertility specialist. These doctors don’t use selective reduction and avoid implanting more embryos than could be carried to term. Discuss this possibility with your doctor if you are a pro life infertility patient. The best way to avoid the need for this procedure is to avoid becoming pregnant with too many babies in the first place. [Translation: You would have to start thinking about someone besides yourself.]

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Responses

  1. SICK!

  2. I just wanted to comment on your IVF Monster post, but you closed the comments:
    So here is what I wanted to post:

    And yet, after ALL THAT, our God still desires a relationship with her, he still desires that she come to the foot of the cross, and kneel down and accept him!!!!
    What a wonderful and amazing God we serve! A God of forgiveness and second chances, a kind and compassionate God!!!

  3. I too, wanted to applaud you for your courage.
    While I am not the type to be so “in your face” with my beliefs, I do think it is wonderful to see someone willing to stand up and say what isn’t being said.
    Too often we walk on the wire of political correctness and never say what we really think. Maybe I need to be more in people’s faces about our wonderful Lord.

    I still am not sure how I really feel about IVF. I know that abortion and selective reduction are murder, but I don’t know how I would feel about IVF if I hadn’t been blessed with my children. But, you have given me something to think about. And I will be praying and studying my bible to see what I can make of it.

  4. Dear latter rain,

    Thank you for your comment. I am glad to hear you will be studying the Bible more on the issue of IVF.

    Many, many people have commented that the reason why I feel that IVF is wrong is because I have been blessed with children, and that I would feel differently about it if I didn’t have kids. While I am the first to admit that I have no idea what it’s like to struggle with infertility, that should have no bearing on whether IVF is morally right or wrong. It’s moral absolutes vs. situational ethics. I think abortion is always wrong, even though I have never yet faced a difficult situation like many of the mothers who would consider abortion.

    The Bible is clear that (1) life begins at conception, (2) children are your heritage from God, therefore it is up to Him when and if to give them to you, (3) God opens and closes the womb, and (4) as Christians we can pray like all the other barren women in the Bible did, all of which eventually did have children. IVF not only gives conceived children a ridiculously low chance at life, it also involves a third party in the procreation process that has been reserved for a husband and wife. It puts science above faith in God.

    I do believe that women should try and take every measure to ensure their reproductive health, and that there are many things that can be done to restore a normal situation (i.e. weight loss/gain, better diet, herbs to restore normal hormone levels, observing ovulation cycles, etc.). However, I do not think it is right to let science do what God has withheld, at the cost of the vast majority of babies dying.

    Thank you again for reading and commenting!


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