Selective Reduction

When I was a child of four or five, a Chinese missionary visited our home. I remember that he called himself Mr. Ding Dong Bell. That name really “rang a bell” in the mind of a child! But one thing that I also remember is some discussion of how differently the Chinese culture valued life. One particular example that was cited was of boat passengers’ refusal to even reach over the side to assist a struggling swimmer who had fallen in. They just watched the person drown. That, too, made a deep impression in a child’s mind.

Fast-forward forty plus years. The July 18th edition of the New York Times Magazine contained an article titled When One is Enough, which chronicled a young unwed mother’s decision to kill two of the triplets she was carrying. The procedure is referred to as selective reduction by the medical specialist she consulted. Her decision was based primarily on the fact that she would be tied down, would have to scale back on expenditures for herself, etc. Although there was a part of her that knew she could work around these problems, she concluded that it was a matter of, “Do I want to”?. Perhaps the two who were “selectively reduced” are the lucky ones after all.

It’s hard to fathom the changes that have occurred in 40 years. Men have walked on the moon. And women have bought the lie that they may “choose” whether or not to let their unborn babies live. I suspect that a solid majority of our society in the late fifties and early sixties would have said, “it can’t happen here”. What went wrong? How did a generation of children, many if not most of whom were reared in comparative luxury, decide that the traditional family was optional?

They bought the lie. And if you buy the lie, you die.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, `You shall not eat of any tree in the garden??" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.?" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

(Genesis 3:1-5 ESV)

Men want to be like God. Such hubris has always led to trouble.

One Reply to “Selective Reduction”

  1. If you’ve never been in the situation it is hard to judge anothers actions. I to had selective reduction, and I deal with the guilt every day of my life. But I didn’t do it so I could continue to shop at high end stores and lavish myself with all that is out there. I had two miscarriages, after over a year of trying got pregnant after having a surgical procedure to ‘clean out’ my reproductive track, the doctors advised me that it was dangerous to have got pregnant so quick for both me and the fetus’ they also did routine ultrasounds that indicated that there could be health problems, and potential loss of all three. The recommended SR to help ensure that one would remain and give it the best shot at survival. At this point I was a single mom, my husband left me not wanting the responsiblilty of a husband and father, I din’t know if I could handle being a single mom to three severly handicapped children, or to loose them all as well. I also had pressure from outside people that this could be a blessing. I agreed to the procedure, it wasn’t based on sex of the child, it was soley based on the healthiest of the three, and at the time, two were lagging behind, and had decreased heart rates, indicting that something could be wrong. I have constantly thought of them, prayed from them and remembered them. But I look at my daughter, she was stll born prematurely had some health problems but is now thriving, I thank god for her everyday, and am thankful that I have one, I could have lost her too. So don’t judge others, until you yourself has actually faced the same situation. It never goes away, it’s a constant thought.

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