A Canadian Woman Chose To Get Rid Of One Twin While Pregnant. Could You Do That?

Wed, December 15, 2010 10:00am EDT by 52 Comments

An Ontario-based couple, both in their 40s, decided to “reduce” their pregnancy from twins to a single fetus through a procedure that is becoming more common.

A Canadian couple were thrilled to have been able to start a family in their 40s. They had just celebrated the first birthday of their son, earlier this year, when they discovered they were expecting again. Seven weeks later, their surprise turned to worry when an ultrasound showed the wife was carrying twins.

“It came as a complete shock,” the mother (who did not want to reveal her name) told the National Post. “We’re both career people. If we were going to have three children two years apart, someone else was going to be raising our kids… All of a sudden our lives as we know them, and as we liked to lead them, are not going to happen.”

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That’s why she and her husband made the difficult decision to “reduce” the number of babies she was carrying. At first their own doctor tried to tell them that the procedure was illegal and then attempted to convince the woman that she could afford to become a stay-at-home mom. Eventually they found a Canadian clinic that would do the procedure, and it was funded by Medicare.

Selective reductions are becoming more common as the number of multiple pregnancies increases, thanks in part to the success and popularity of fertility treatments like IVF. According to the mother, her Toronto doctor performs this procedure several times a month. New York-based obstetrician Dr. Mark Evans confirms that twins make up about 5 percent to 7 percent of the total reductions, which are typically performed between the ninth and 12th week of pregnancy.

How does it work? Doctors use ultrasound to guide a needle through the woman’s abdomen, into the uterus. They then inject a potassium chloride solution into the fetus or fetuses, which stops their hearts.

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“I am absolutely sure I did the right thing,” says the mother. “I had read some online forums, people were speaking of grieving, feeling a sense of loss. I didn’t feel any of that. Not that I’m a cruel, bitter person… I just didn’t feel I would be able to care for [twins] in a way that I wanted to.”

It seems that the economy is also increasing the demand for selective reductions, which raises some ethical questions. Should parents have the right to selectively abort some of their babies because of the impact that child may have on their current lives? “I do believe people should have the choice, given the cost of raising children today,” says the unnamed mother. “You want to be able to provide for your children… to give them the things they need to become the best adults they can become.”

Where do you stand on the issue, HollyMoms?

–Amy L. Harper

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Jennifer Chavez Ochoa

Posted at 9:57 PM on August 30, 2011  

Why didn’t she just carry both babies to term and give one of them up for adoption to I am sure a grateful family who would love to raise a child. Her decision to abort was a selfish one. Why do something remarkable for someone else!!! What a shame….

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RICK

Posted at 9:20 PM on August 30, 2011  

MY THEY BOTH ROT IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

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Ayanna

Posted at 11:46 PM on August 30, 2011  

Oh they will…lol

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lindsey

Posted at 2:28 PM on August 16, 2011  

The “surviving” baby will forever feel incomplete. Somethign will always be missing from his/her life. The sibling, the twin they were meant to have that you killed. I am pro-choice, but not in cases like this. Only if it is a dire situation. “Reducations” due to a lifestyle change are not an acceptable reason

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Sandy

Posted at 5:43 PM on June 2, 2011  

I cannot for the life of me understand how this cold hearted women can talk about aborting this baby because it’s an inconvenience!!! First they say how thrilled they are to be having kids in their 40’s and then they say two’s to many so let’s just kill one of them because it’s not fitting for our lifestyle. What I want to know is HOW in the hell did they make the choice of which life to end????
This is just SO unreal to me.

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lovinmyboys

Posted at 11:21 AM on May 29, 2011  

totally disgusted. this is murder, no matter how this witch tries to spin it, i feel horrible for the other baby and the toddler they already have

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shantelle

Posted at 3:45 PM on May 27, 2011  

All I can say is this really sickens me ugh, dont have sex if you are not ready to take the chance. she is a murder!!

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Holly

Posted at 6:07 PM on May 22, 2011  

I couldn’t do, never would. I don’t understand how any mother, after experiencing the joy of feeling their baby inside them, and wanting another pregnancy, could allow a procedure that: “They then inject a potassium chloride solution into the fetus or fetuses, which stops their hearts.”

Imagine when the living twin finds out when he/she’s older that they had a twin the parents aborted; “it could’ve been me, you killed my sibling”…

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tasha

Posted at 5:10 PM on May 21, 2011  

If you’re going to make the decision to have a baby then you should be prepared for all eventualities, includung multiple births. I can’t believe anyone would do this, just pick which one they don’t want?! It’s not a pair of shoes!

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cmjaz

Posted at 11:38 PM on May 20, 2011  

It really doesn’t seem to have been a very ‘difficult’ decision for them. How could they do this to their surviving baby? How will they explain it without the surviving child resenting them for the rest of his life? If twins will ‘cramp your style’…let’s face it, that’s what it comes down to…then why even have one child? At least put the twin up for adoption and give him a chance to meet his twin sibling someday. Not to mention, the chance to live…..

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Nicole

Posted at 7:00 PM on May 20, 2011  

This story really saddens me, because there are women in the world who can’t get pregnant with one child let a long two. She should thank her lucky stars that she can get pregnant. I had a miscarriage about 3 years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish that, that baby could be here with me.

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Asuigeneris1

Posted at 3:37 PM on May 20, 2011  

While I do believe that it is the right of the woman to decide whether or not she carries a fetus to term…I do question why this woman would abort a twin.

…I also wonder if the twins were fraternal or identical, I am wagering on fraternal.

It would seem very risky to puncture the amniotic sac of the remaining fetus during the procedure.

…so as fraternal twins, the children would not have the exact DNA.

It does shed a different light on the whole thing at that juncture, because we are talking two wholly separate individuals and not one egg that had split into two identically genetic human beings.

Myself, I couldn’t choose one child over another…that does seem selfish, even if it did cramp the lifestyle I was living at the time.

I also feel that I have no right to determine how many children another person raises…that isn’t my place, I can just compare my own thoughts on the matter.

I will say though, that I would choose to abort…before I would likely carry to term and place for adoption, some of us don’t find that an option in life.

My sons father is adopted and my own father is adopted, but that isn’t something that I would personally be able to live with…to me people place far too much importance on life itself and less on quality of life.

Going through life wondering if my child was actually cared for and loved or was being beaten and sexually abused by someone would be something that would tear me up inside.

…so to each his own.

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sonia

Posted at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2011  

This is awful. How is she going to explain to her other child,the one that was not terminated someday that by luck your here and your not the one we murdered. Shame on her. If you are so worried about your career you should not have chose to have another child. She may not be feeling grief right now, but she will.I know because I have watched it with my sister when she had a abortion. It was 5 years later when all of a sudden it hit her what she did and that she murdered her own child.Disgusting!!!!!

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Single Mama

Posted at 1:31 AM on April 14, 2011  

I think this is pretty awful. Yes, having three kids that young would be hard, but lots of people do that. Also, I think the real tragedy is in killing one of the twins. My mom was a twin, but her twin died in utero, and she has felt like “something was missing” her entire life. There is actually research about people who lose a twin, even before or at birth when they don’t know the sibling, and it can be extremely difficult. Twins have a special bond. Now if she was having 5-6 babies, I might feel differently, but twins? No way.

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Cynthia

Posted at 11:01 PM on April 10, 2011  

If you want to be able to provide for your child and give them what they need, but can’t afford to do so for 2+ kids, then maybe you should rethink if you are financially ready to even care for one. Terminating one fetus in a multiple pregnancy is ridiculous and disgusting.

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Nicole

Posted at 2:51 PM on January 5, 2011  

this was not a courageous or brave choice….it was an extremely selfish choice. and nothing else. if it was for medical reasons, we would have a different story. This world is becoming sicker and sicker….for some who actually applaud this woman, you are just as sick and twisted as her. That child did not ask to be brought into this world, but the fact is he/she was conceived, and for his/her life to be snuffed out so carelessly so that this womans career could flourish is disgusting. If you make a conscious choice to get pregnant and end up getting more than you bargained for, hey thats life. But stop taking advantage of medical advances and using it to murder an unborn baby. Those innocent and vulnerable children are your responsibility. They are not something to dispose of because they don’t fit into our plan. Some people should frankly just not be allowed to have children.

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sue

Posted at 12:01 PM on January 14, 2011  

thank you, for saying that! This is easy, don’t have SEX!

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anonymous

Posted at 3:59 AM on January 15, 2011  

frankly, you should not get to decide who should and shouldn’t be allowed to have children.

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ayanna

Posted at 11:31 PM on August 30, 2011  

There are people who can’t have children and have no choice in it, I don’t think the people who can have children should have the choice of killing them! Could you honestly look at your child, and bear the thought that because of some selfish need, you could have aborted your child, and never known your child???

 
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Mandy

Posted at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2011  

I am 18, married, and in college. I have just found out that I am five weeks pregnant I was on the pill and my husband and I used condoms everytime. It still happened, I know my case it different it is only one child but I am not sure if I can afford this child but I want it. When I found out that I was pregnant I cried, I was so scared. I can not see how you can have an abortion but I also do not believe anyone can tell anyone they cannot have an abortion unless they are going to stand beside that person for the 9 month long pregnancy and the 18 year life. It is easy to tell someone not to have but its hard to help take care of the result. I believe that the child will resent the mother if he/she finds out and will wonder when he/she get older would the world have been better off if the other twin had lived. I had a neighbor who had 5 kid when I was younger, she got pregnant did not know it was with twin it was too early. She went and had an abortion and three months later she was still pregnant and found out that she aborted the twin. The child who was born found out about a year ago and they do not get along much. She says she feels like something it her life is missing life she knew someone else was suppose to be there. I hope this child does not feel this way because it is so sad to hear her talk about how sad she is.

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Anonymous

Posted at 1:47 PM on February 28, 2011  

Mandy, I will be praying for you. I was very young myself when I became pregnant with my children, also while on birth control pills each time. I chose to give birth to my sons, and they are huge joys in my life. However, their father’s drug addiction spiraled out of control and when I left him, my boys were 2 1/2 yrs and 6 months old. I found out I was pregnant again 1 month later. Their father committed suicide shortly thereafter (without knowing I was pregnant).

I chose to terminate that pregnancy. At the time it was the right decision, but it’s one I’ve agonized over for the last 17 years. It took all my energy and sanity just to raise my two boys alone, with no money. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have had three children to care for. My boys don’t know and they never will.

I’ve been in both situations and made two very different choices. I truly feel for you, and wish you the best. Whatever decision you make, think it through, then own it and don’t look back. Live knowing that you best the best decision you could for yourself and your very young family. God bless you, Mandy.

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Ayanna

Posted at 11:16 PM on August 30, 2011  

I’m sorry, I think thats dumb, what happened to adoption, there are women out here, like myself who are struggling, or cannot have kids, and there are women out here who have kids that they didn’t need to have who are struggling, than there are people who are only thinking of themselves, and the fastest way to satisfy themselves, those are the people who abort babies. Selfish people, unless you have some kind of sickness preventing you from being able to be healthy and pregnant, than there is no reason to kill a fetus’ chance of life. ADOPTION, birth parents most of the time don’t have to pay anything! And anyone who wants to adopt a child will stand beside you for nine months, and then thankfully, happily, and joyfully, take the child off your hands.

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melinda

Posted at 6:13 AM on December 30, 2010  

I think that was so wrong.I am the proud mother of 13 year old twin girls,and i am also a single mother with three other children.If i can do it you could have done it too.But i guess you will never know.

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shockgirl

Posted at 1:34 AM on December 31, 2010  

that women killed her son/daughter. If Melinda did it on her own i cant believe that women did such a thing. What is she going to say to the other twin?? that it could have been him/her who the doctor killed?? that she didnt give a s**t about his/her life but her CAREER?? I see people can care more about the money than their souls.

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JBrown

Posted at 3:52 AM on December 29, 2010  

How courageous to make an unpopular choice and also discuss it with the world. Her decision was what was best for the entire family. If you know that you can not handle having a baby or an additional baby in this case, then this is the responsible and sad decision you have to make.

Personally, I am not having any more children because I can not afford to at this time, even though my husband and our family would love to have more. I can not make the conscious decision to have more children if I know it will put us on welfare.

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anoymous

Posted at 6:23 PM on December 24, 2010  

she could of had the twins and could of gave the baby to a couple who cant have a baby. its a shame she just got rid of it just cause she didt want to give up her career. ma parents both worked when me and ma sister were ittle and i had a good upbringing

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JBrown

Posted at 3:53 AM on December 29, 2010  

Yes, but how long ago was that?

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Chrissy

Posted at 5:45 AM on December 23, 2010  

She wanted to get pregnant, but she didn’t ask for two. I can see why she choose that choice. First thing I asked at my ultrasound was How many is in there? I can’t support two, but I can support one. Carrying a baby for 9 months is very hard, because you definitely bond with the child. I couldn’t handle the whole adoption bs. Everyone is different. I think she has every right to choose what she wishes. Everyone has different beliefs. I personally don’t look at abortion as a bad thing especially when you do everything to prevent a pregnancy (pill failing, condom breaking ect)and you can’t control how many babies decide to pop up. No one wants to raise their kids on the street or off of welfare if they don’t have to.

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sapphire.

Posted at 5:54 AM on January 2, 2011  

She didn’t want to support two. But you say she’d bond too much if she carried the child. (A potential breathing, laughing, innocent baby.) But if she really couldn’t support two, she could handle adoption. If she couldn’t, she would know that she was making a bad choice. In all honesty, the baby that wasn’t aborted could probably do better if he/she was adopted. This woman doesn’t deserve a child if she can kill the one that formed right next to them.

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ayanna

Posted at 11:21 PM on August 30, 2011  

if you can abort a potential life that you created, that is already growing inside you, I’m sure you could carry it for nine months, and then give it to someone who will make sure the child has the LIFE it deserved.

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bobbette

Posted at 9:14 AM on December 20, 2010  

I applaud these parents and their courage to do what was right for them so that they could parent in the way that they believe is best!

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Christine

Posted at 9:40 PM on December 19, 2010  

This is so sad. If I were her I would withhold my name also! Selfish woman!!!!!!

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aivy

Posted at 11:14 PM on December 19, 2010  

Horrible! Selfish act! She can choose to give away one instead of aborting!

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karla

Posted at 1:46 PM on December 18, 2010  

What a horrible person she is.

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NJmom

Posted at 3:53 PM on December 17, 2010  

Wow, that is horrible… she did not reduce for health reasons… She reduced for her own comfort and for her career… sick sick sick… I agree with Lesly. The worst thing of all is that the procedure was PAID for by MEDICARE.. total crap….

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Lesly

Posted at 12:28 PM on December 17, 2010  

This is so sad, the other baby didn’t have a chance. I guess this woman was more concerned about herself and that’s it. She was playing God in this situation, unfortuntely one day she will regret what she did. She could have given the baby up for adoption instead, there are so many of us out there that don’t have the luxury to decide to have or not to have a baby and this lady just threw hers out. So very sad to hear that. What a selfish world we have become to be able to have the right to terminate a life out of our own convenience.

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