Lives: When One Is Enough
NYT carries a revolting story entitled, “ Lives: When One Is Enough” [RSS]. It is bylined By AMY RICHARDS as told to AMY BARRETT. Given that it’s the Times, it could well be made up. In this case, I hope so:
I found out I was having triplets when I went to my obstetrician. The doctor had just finished telling me I was going to have a low-risk pregnancy. She turned on the sonogram machine. There was a long pause, then she said, ”Are you sure you didn’t take fertility drugs?” I said, ”I’m positive.” Peter and I were very shocked when she said there were three. ”You know, this changes everything,” she said. ”You’ll have to see a specialist.”
My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bed rest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?
I looked at Peter and asked the doctor: ”Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?” The obstetrician wasn’t an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more.
From a sheer utilitarian point of view, I suppose we should be grateful that at least one of the children was allowed to live. After all, she was perfectly within her Supreme Court-granted rights to kill all three. Still, it seems more monstrous this way.
I don’t disagree. Still, this wouldn’t even make the news if Richards had killed several babies one at a time. That, after all, happens with some frequency.
Update: Bryan S. also has a personal angle to the story, Ian is going to be ill, Michele Catalano pities the woman, and Allah discovers that Amy Richards is a moderately famous person and that the story is most probably not a hoax.