With the increased use of fertilization methods, more women are having pregnancies that include two or more babies. An increasingly accepted option offered to parents of “multiples” is “selective reduction,” or the killing of one or more of the developing babies.
Selective reduction (or “selective abortion,” or “multi-fetal pregnancy reduction”) is usually performed on an outpatient basis by a perinatologist (maternal-fetal health specialist) when the babies are 9-12 weeks gestation. An ultrasound-guided needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen or vagina to inject potassium chloride into a baby’s heart. The dead baby’s body is absorbed by the mother’s.
Parents are told that this may ensure healthier birth of the remaining children. Such information often results in great confusion and irreversible grim decisions for the uninformed, who find themselves faced with life and death choices from medical authorities they trust to be life-promoting.