It's So Personal: Serial Abortions
A reader writes:
Twenty-seven years ago I went to the ER after having suffered my fourth miscarriage. After genetic screening, my husband had previously been diagnosed with a chromosal defect which would result in the spontaneous abortion of about 50% of our conceptions (actually, more like 66). It's called a balanced reciprocal translocation, and the anomaly is so severe that the fetus dies within about 12 weeks of conception. We managed to eventually have a son and daughter, but both are carriers who will in turn someday face the same daunting experiences we endured.
Anyway, back to the ER. As I was registering to get my D and C [dilatation and curettage], a woman barged in the front door demanding an abortion immediately. The attendant told her she would have to wait her turn, to which she responded that she'd already had six abortions and it was no big deal, couldn't they just rush her case a little since she had several more appointments to keep that day.
What a contrast we presented. One woman who was devastated by the loss of four babies countered by a woman who could so blithely give up one after another. My daughter is getting married this summer and, as I said before, she is a carrier. They will have to undergo genetic testing to confirm what we already know, and that is she will most likely have to endure the heartbreak of numerous miscarriages.
I am a firm believer in a woman's right to choose to abort, but there must be a sane limit to the ability to obtain an obscenely large number. And it's difficult to envision the circumstance where the need to have such a late-term procedure would be truly justified.