Selective Termination of Pregnancy
Holder, Angela R.
Henifin, Mary Sue
Hastings Center Report. 1988 Feb/Mar; 18(1): 21-22.
A patient asks her physician to terminate two fetuses in a triplet pregnancy resulting from use of a fertility drug. Holder and Henifin address the questions of whether the physician should agree to the request, and whether the request is morally appropriate. Holder asks why the patient had not been counseled earlier on the risk of multiple births. While acknowledging the woman's legal right to an abortion, she maintains that the physician is not obligated to provide one in this circumstance, and suggests ways in which the patient could be shown how to cope with triplets should she decide to carry all fetuses to term. Henifin emphasizes the risks of multiple pregnancy to pregnant women and fetuses and the woman's right to an abortion. She argues that the physician should transfer the patient to another doctor if he is unwilling to perform the termination. Henifin also raises the question of adequate pre-pregnancy counseling. (KIE abstract)
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