Beliefnet

Costco, the Country Club, and Abortion


Abortion is almost always about selfishness. Sometimes it's terribly hard not tobe selfish, but Amy Richards' saga of aborting two of a set of triplets, told in Sunday's New York Times magazine reveals an incredible heartlessness.

If I belonged to NARAL-Pro-Choice America, I'd put Ms. Richards on myWith-Friends-Like This... list and hope she didn't write any more stories fornational magazines. Surely, even those who have few qualms about abortion musthave squirmed when they read this:

"I felt physically fine up to this point, I got on the subway afterward, andall of a sudden, I felt ill. I didn't want to eat anything. What I was goingthrough seemed like a very unnatural experience. On the subway, Peter [herboyfriend and the father of the triplets she was carrying] asked, 'Shouldn't we consider having triplets?' And I had this adverse reaction: 'This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That's easy for you to say, but I'd have to give up my life.' Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn't be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks.

"When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It's not the back of a pickupat 16, but now I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave myhouse because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shoppingonly at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. Even in my moments of thinkingabout having three, I don't think that deep down I was ever considering it."

Having triplets would have been inconvenient in a five story walk-up in NewYork's East Village. It would also have reduced Richards' income, since she'd bein bed during her peak lecturing time.

"I looked at Peter and asked the doctor: 'Is it possible to get rid of one ofthem? Or two of them?' The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction,but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one ormore."

The shot of potassium chloride is injected into the heart of the fetus.

Ms. Richards set her story up in such a way that the reader is supposed tosympathize--she had grown up without a father and in high school she had watchedfriends who were "helping to rear nieces and nephews, because their siblings,who were not much older, were having babies."

Quite laudably, Richards didn't want to end up pregnant and too young. But thenthe most telling remark: "I had friends from all over the class spectrum: I sawthe nieces and nephews on the one hand and country-club memberships and stationwagons on the other."

No, you don't want a financial drain, even flesh and blood, that will keep youfrom having your country-club dues.

It is interesting that, during the split second she considered what it would belike to have triplets, Richards envisioned a life of "shopping only at Costcoand buying big jars of mayonnaise."

National Review's Jennifer Graham comments on the Richards article in "A Tale of Costco as Feminist Hell."

Meanwhile, feminist and New York Times guest columnist Barbara Ehrenreich is similarly hard-nosed:

"You can blame a lot of folks, from media bigwigs to bishops, if we lose ourreproductive rights, but it's the women who shrink from acknowledging their ownabortions who really irk me."

She should love Ms. Richards. "Despite the troubling picture drawn by MissRichards's account, she is to be commended for one thing: She does not rely onthe favorite pretext of the pro-abortion movement--women's 'health'," writes Shannen Coffin in another critique of Ms. Richards's piece.

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Is the road to heaven sometimes paved with bad intentions?

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