Friday, August 12, 2011

Mengele Lives! (In the Pages of the New York Times)

This Sunday’s Times magazine features a cover story so abhorrently evocative of the twin-culling conducted at Auschwitz—first by soldiers screaming “Zwillinge!” (twins) as families spilled out of the cattle cars onto the train platform, and later by the abomination Josef Mengele during his experiments on them there—that it’s hard, even for those who ferociously despise the herd-mentality snob-fest of opinion-peddling  pretentiousness that is the New York Times, to swallow the idea that there wasn’t at least a minor insurrection against the editor of this journalistic treasure over his decision to publish what amounts to a eugenics-propaganda manual.

Is there one member of Jill Abramson’s religious order who views the subject of this article—“reduction to a singleton” for all those women who’ve spent their middle age and some not inconsiderable fortunes of money having intercourse with test tubes and basters in search of the perfect baby, but wish to avoid producing the inconvenient Zwillinge who seem more and more often to result, and fear the “chaos, stereophonic screaming and exhaustion of raising twins”; or, to put it in the native language some of us still speak, the killing in utero of one perfectly healthy twin so that women who are hormonally old enough to be grandmothers and way too irritable to be bearing children don’t have to sacrifice their peace of mind—as a piece of awfulness?  Maybe not.

The child-killing advocacy is couched in the tender understatement of current reproductive-speak—“pregnancy reduction”; “ethical dilemma”; “moral equilibrium”; “choice revolution”; “two-to-one patients” “options”—but the euphemisms are plenty crude enough, and anyway the truth will out:

Consider the choice of which fetus to eliminate: if both appear healthy (which is typical with twins), doctors aim for whichever one is easier to reach. If both are equally accessible, the decision of who lives and who dies is random. To the relief of patients, it’s the doctor who chooses—with one exception. If the fetuses are different sexes, some doctors ask the parents which one they want to keep.

Until the last decade, most doctors refused even to broach that question, but that ethical demarcation has eroded, as ever more patients lobby for that option and doctors discover that plenty opt for girls. . . .

The doctors who do reductions sometimes sense their patients’ unease, and they work to assuage it. “I do spend quite a bit of time going through the medical risks of twins with them, because it takes away a little bit of the guilt they feel,” says [one] doctor.

“I still wonder,” says a 45-year-old twin-reducer. “Did we choose the right one? — even though I wasn’t the one who chose.

That idea, that one’s gone and one’s here, it’s almost like playing God. I mean, who are we to choose? Even as it was happening, I wondered what the future would have been if the doctor had put the needle into the other one.”

That “needle into the other one” is a legacy bequeathed to the editors of New York Times, to their authors, and to their readers by the great heroine of feminists, mother of Planned Parenthood, and eugenicist Margaret Sanger, by way of Josef Mengele. The casual, unquestioning linguistic capitulation to it is a kind of depravity, and not fit to print.


  1. BR thank you for this. Small blog, indispensable voice.

    This noxious gem from your Sanger link seems an appropriate postscript:
    "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."

    Nice too to read that Herr Lindgren is the proud father of twin daughters; how peachy that he and his hausfrau chose to withhold from them both the 'merciful' needle of reduction. They have my sympathy, yours too I'm sure, for what was surely a wrenching decision.

  2. Rachel, God bless you for this post. The article is shocking in so many ways. I blogged about this on Thursday, and have added a link to & excerpt from your post to my own: Boutique Abortion: Some Terrible Truths Within Fertility Treatment Today

    This was my first visit to your blog. I'll be back regularly.

  3. I'm conservative but don't have strong feelings about abortion except late term. However, this is insane. I could never have done this and live with myself.

    It reminds me of the selection process at the nazi death camps. You, to the right. You, to the left.

    Since they know that twins are often the result of these treatments and they couldn't abide by that, then adopt.

  4. Chilling and outrageous, but also unsurprising and perhaps even a predictable result of the convergence between medically assisted conception and medically assisted abortion. I wish I could say I'm still capable of shock with respect to this issue.

    On a lighter note, I just met with some pro-life young people who were wrapping up a 3-month walk across the country to draw attention to the abortion issue:

    Hope springs eternal!

  5. I had a friend who's wife was artifically inseminated and 4 eggs were fertilized.
    Everything seemed fine until the doctors told them the babies were growing in such a way that they had to make a choice. The uterus would only be able to handle 2 babies. 2 of the 4 would have to be aborted, OR all 4 would not make it.

    It was an agonizing decision. Either they lose 2 or they lose all 4.

    They chose to kill 2. This was a awful decision to make for them. It wasn't made easily.

    And they prayed about it.

    Today they have 2 healthy children. But they know they will miss the other two that were randomly taken from them.

    It's why I updated my 'exceptions' to no abortion to include life of the other babies, along with life of mother.

  6. The women said being pregnant with a toddler was just too hard for them both--and horrors, they had morning sickness to boot. But they were 45 years old. Maybe Mother Nature is telling them something.

  7. Alas, familiar ground for the NYT,

    " I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise"

  8. Bumble Bee,

    Could the family have chosen to carry all four babies as far along as possible, deliver them prematurely and hope for the best?

  9. Embryo transplant technology is what we need! If both sides in the abortion debate had just been focusing on that for the last four decades, and spending all that wasted propaganda money on science, we could give the embryos to those who want from those who don't.