The ethical issues with surrogacy – and assisted reproductive technology – continue to arise. Parents manufacture children on demand, and then when things don’t go as planned, they decide to then destroy the children, who were intentionally created by said parents. This scenario happens over and over and over again, but it’s no less horrifying whenever a new situation presents itself. The latest shocking example is a surrogate, implanted with three embryos by a man who wanted to become a father, who unsurprisingly became pregnant with triplets.
But as the father didn’t want triplets, he’s now demanding that she get an abortion against her will, and is even threatening her if she continues to refuse.
Melissa Cook was paid $33,000 to have a man’s child via artificial insemination. Like many IVF parents, the man chose to have three embryos implanted, because implanting multiple embryos has the highest chance of achieving a successful pregnancy. All three embryos took, and Cook discovered she was pregnant with triplets at about eight weeks. She says he immediately began to raise concerns, which have become more threatening over time.
The dad “understands, albeit does not agree, with your decision not to reduce,” his lawyer, Robert Warmsley, wrote in a Friday letter to Cook, who has never met the sperm donor.
“As you know, his remedies where you refuse to abide by the terms of the agreement, are immense [and] include, but are not limited to, loss of all benefits under the agreement, damages in relation to future care of the children [and] medical costs associated with any extraordinary care the children may need,” the lawyer warned.
Cook received another letter from Warmsley on Tuesday urging her to schedule a “selection reduction” — abortion of one of the fetuses — by day’s end.
Cook insists that abortion isn’t right, that these are human beings. But she also says she’s beginning to waver in her resolution to protect these lives, as she’s understandably scared of the repercussions if she doesn’t do as this man demands.
Surely, pro-abortion activists will loudly be denouncing this man and offering their support to this woman, as they claim they support a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body, and say that a woman should never be pressured into an abortion. But don’t hold your breath waiting for them to pipe up.
Sadly, this is not unusual. It was awful enough when parents of twins, also conceived through IVF, publicly spoke about their dismay at becoming pregnant with twins. They enthusiastically implanted two embryos, and were then outraged when they shockingly became pregnant with twins. These parents didn’t abort either of their babies, thankfully, but they openly dehumanized their children and hoped for one of them to have a birth defect so they could have an excuse to abort them.
Other parents actually go through with the selective reductions. Celebrated pro-abortion “feminist” Amy Richards famously wrote about her decision to kill two of her preborn children after becoming pregnant with triplets because she would have to do horrible things like move to Staten Island, shop at Costco, and buy big jars of mayonnaise. And if a couple undergoes IVF and becomes pregnant with a child who has a disability, like Down syndrome, chances are that child will be killed.
IVF allows people to design babies and then destroy them when the product they paid for is “defective” in some way. The day of parents designing their children’s hair and eye colors doesn’t seem too far off. Instead of treating children as independent human beings with their own inherent dignity and value, we have begun to treat them as objects we are entitled to own. And even when these children aren’t aborted, it still affects them. Alana Newman, founder of Anonymous US, an organization that aims to give a voice to children conceived through artificial reproductive technology, pointed out that these parents are inflicting pain on their future children, often pushing their own suffering onto the children they want. We as a society seem to believe that we have the right to play God. It’s that simple.
And in a culture that commercializes children, likes to play God, and treats children as products they’re entitled to own, it’s no surprise that abortion is so rampant. Melissa Cook’s tragic story is heartbreaking, but it’s just the latest symptom of a larger disease.