There is no doubt that reproduction is an industry, and a very lucrative one, at that. The costs of IVF run in the tens of thousands of American dollars for a single attempt, and the woman must receive regular hormone injections and undergo invasive procedures to both retrieve eggs and transfer embryos into her uterus. Given the physical and financial toll exerted by IVF, prospective parents and medical professionals place a great deal of emphasis on achieving a successful birth with as few attempts as possible. Therefore, it is common to transfer more than one embryo at a time, in the hopes that at least one will survive. In the event of the survival of multiple embryos, or if the embryos further divide in a case of identical twinning, the parents are offered the option of a “selective reduction,” in which one or more of the fetuses is aborted.
The argument used to support this practice is that the fewer the number of babies, the better the projected outcome for the survivor(s). In other words, even if a mother would be happy to accept twins or triplets, she may be counseled to “reduce” the number of her children for fear that she might be more likely to miscarry and lose the entire pregnancy. Sadly, this barbaric practice is being increasingly recommended not only for higher-order multiples, but also for twins, including those which occur naturally
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