Virtual Voices

Our brave new world of abortion

Abortion

It's not that some abortions are more wrong than others, but some lay bare the horror of it more clearly than others.

Take the case of an Australian couple who recently aborted their twin boys because they wanted a daughter. They already have three sons and lost a daughter shortly after her birth.

So far they've done nothing illegal. They had the right, in the eyes of the law, to take their twin boys' lives. But they are now taking their case before a legal tribunal because they want to do something not allowed in Australia: They want to choose the gender of their next child. Using embryos conceived by in vitro fertilization, they would choose only females for implantation.

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Sex selection is banned in Australia except in cases involving the transmission of a genetic abnormality or disease. The State of Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal will hear the couple's case in March, when they will plead that an exception be made for them. They have publicly stated that they will come to the United States if they are turned down.

While I understand that, tragically, women all over the world abort children based on gender, there is something particularly disturbing about this case. The father is quoted in a report in Britain's Daily Mail as saying, "After what we have been through we think we are due for a bit of luck." I guess their twins' luck ran out when they turned out to be boys. He continued, "We know we definitely won't be replacing her in any way, but want the chance to have the baby girl we don't have." If they ever get their longed-for daughter (who, of course, won't be a replacement for the daughter who died), I hope she never finds out about her two brothers who were killed for her.

These parents so desperately want a life that they're willing to take lives for it. And, of course, there is the matter of the embryos that will be discarded if they go ahead with their plan.

A brave new world indeed.

See WORLD's annual Roe v. Wade issue, just released today.

Marcia Segelstein
Marcia Segelstein

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