Over the weekend there was a collective uproar over an article in The New York Times about Amy Richards. One is hard pressed to read the story and come away feeling anything but repulsed by the thought process behind the choice she made.
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?
It’s pretty much me, me, me, me, me from top to bottom.
For the legions of sites that have gotten up on their pedestal an proclaimed her an evil incarnate (See the Technorati links) baby murderer I invite you to read a much more thorough examination of the issues of multiples. Read How Many Is Too Many? by Lisa Barrett Mann in todays Washington Post if you want the full story of the issues raised in multiple births. Richards is an aberration – the families in Mann’s story are not.
The problem is the issue of selective reduction is significantly more complex in the real world than it is in the pages of the Sunday Times Magazine.