Special Report: on “Selective Reduction” Abortions: The Impact on

The Elliot Institute News
From the Leader in Post-Abortion Research

Special Report on
“Selective Reduction” Abortions
The Impact on Parents and Families

In This Issue:

·         Introduction

·         Targeting “Excess” Children: Infertility Treatments and the Problem
of “Selective Reduction”

·         IVF, Mass Production and Coercion

·         Learn More, Share More


A recent New York Times Magazine story has highlighted the controversy
surrounding “selective reduction” — in which a multiple pregnancy
(twins, triplets or more) is “reduced” by aborting some of the babies
before birth.

Multiple pregnancies are a common result of in vitro fertilization,
since clinics may implant multiple embryos in an effort to increase
the chance of a successful pregnancy. If a multiple pregnancy does
occur, however, the issue of “selective reduction” (also called
“multifetal pregnancy reduction”) can arise. In many cases, couples
are even pressured to undergo the procedure by medical professionals.

As researchers Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles note in the
following article, this practice is often the result of poor
information and coercion. Further, it is often traumatic for the
parents, may disrupt bonding with the surviving children and is a
risky practice medically. Read on to learn more about this issue.



Targeting “Excess” Children
Infertility Treatments and the Problem
of “Selective Reduction”
Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles

Just as reproductive technologies have changed obstetrical practice,
so too have they led to a type of abortion which affects a different
population of pregnant women from those with unplanned pregnancies.
These women have planned and waited to have a child, and it is ironic
that they and their partners who are suffering the problems of
infertility must often come face-to-face with abortion.

There is a large literature detailing the psychological distress
experienced by couples who wish to have children but who cannot
conceive naturally. The following quotation captures the feeling

You can’t have a baby–a numbness beyond desperation. Baby lust–do
you know how it feels to want a baby so much that every other activity
in life, everything you’ve worked for and planned for–jobs, friends,
family, marriage, seem hollow as a tin can? To be in emotional pain so
extreme that when you see a pregnant woman’s stomach or a newborn baby
the pain becomes physical?

Continue reading …



IVF, Mass Production and Coercion
David C. Reardon

Multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) is recommended by the
practitioners of artificial reproduction methods on the grounds that
it is necessary to safeguard the health of the mother and surviving
children. As with other abortion procedures, however, there is little,
if any, evidence that this procedure actually attains the desired

In regard to the other children, MFPR introduces the additional risk
of miscarrying all the children. The emotional trauma and self-blame
that couples must experience after consenting to MFPR and then
miscarrying all of their children, after years of longing, prayer, and
payment of huge medical bills to become pregnant, is unimaginable. It
has yet to be studied. And how can the pain of this devastated couple
be weighed against the joy (tinged with grief) of couples for whom
MFPR may have helped to avoid a natural miscarriage?

These points are hinted at in the above article. What is not
discussed, however, is the financial motivation of IVF clinics to risk
high rates of multiple pregnancies and subsequent MFPR procedures.

Continue reading …



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