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Sonja Dorsey Abortion: Selective Reduction For many years, infertile couples have had difficulty facing the reality that they can not have children. According to Nidus Information Services Incorporated, 6.2 million women in the United States are infertile. This problem leads to many options. A few options have been used for a long period of time: the couple could adopt a child or keep trying to have a child themselves. For those couples that want to have their own children, there are new options arising. In vetro fertilization is an option that gives couples the chance to have a doctor combine the male's sperm and the woman's eggs in a petri dish and implant them into the woman's womb after the artificial conception. This may result in multiple pregnancies - more than five in some cases. This does not only occur in implantation, however. Many times the patient's doctor will ask her to consider selective reduction: aborting a few fetuses to save the ones she can. In a case of multiple pregnancy, selective reduction should be considered an option. "This is the heart of our struggle over abortion, for it is a struggle between gods." said United Methodist pastor Reverend Marc Rogers. "The worship of this false god, the god of abstraction, is killing us literally - - killing not only unborn children, but killing our nation and our church." The FIGO Committee for the Study of Ethical Aspects for Human Reproduction does not agree with this view. "Selective reduction of a multiple pregnancy is not an abortion procedure because the intention is that the pregnancy continues," says the Committee. In many cases, if no fetuses are aborted, all of the fetuses will die. A couple that has had their first success at getting pregnant after a long time of infertility, whether by in vetro fertilization or through sex, is not guaranteed to have a second chance at having children. Often, a fetus in the womb will contract disease that could potentially spread to the others, also causing risk for failure. Using selective reduction to increase the chances of having any children at all instead of no children should not be looked down upon by anyone. Many couples who are infertile can not handle the financial responsibility of multiple children. If a couple has seven children in one pregnancy, the financial strain can lead to chaos. There were only three sets of living septuplets in the United States in 1997, according to the Knight-Ridder's journalist Tracy A. Reeves. In Reeves' article entitled "Septuplet debate focuses on the plight of others" many cases of multiple births are described. One family, The McCaugheys from Iowa, received a lifetime supply of diapers, a year's supply of groceries, a new house, a new van and a slew of baby-sitters upon the birth of their septuplets. The Dilley family who gave birth to septuplets in 1993, received donations of freed diapers, baby formula, and a new home as well. The financial strain did catch up with the Dilleys, however. They had to sell the home to care for the children. Doctor Louis Keith, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Medical School, says that the government should make an education program for the nation to inform fertility patients and their doctors of health risks to the mother and the babies, and also to show them the financial strain of having multiple children. No couple should be forced to have the financial responsibility of multiple children if they do not have the capability to support them. Multiple pregnancies are given the name "high risk" pregnancies. The risk of not only harming the other fetuses in the womb, but harming the mother is incredibly great. The World Medical Association says that, "We recognize that in pregnancies involving more than three fetuses, problems of fetal mortality and retarded growth development linked to brain infirmity occur in more than fifty per cent of the cases . . . the highly harmful effects of multiple births on the physical health of the mother and the possible psychological and practical consequences for both parents." Many couples with high risk pregnancies choose not to use selective reduction in their pregnancy. What results from that decision varies greatly. Some couples have all of their children, and they are healthy, yet small. Other couples loose some of the fetuses and have only a few of the children they had planned on. Still other couples loose all of the babies, and sometimes have no other chance to produce children. Multiple births are a great physical stress on the mother; in some cases, the mother delivers all of the children and she herself dies. These are a few of the possibilities, there are many others when dealing with high risk multiple pregnancies. The world Medical Association says, "

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