Jewish World Review July 23, 2004 / 5 Menachem-Av 5764

Neil Cavuto

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For the life of me . . . what about life? | Did you ever read or catch something in the news that was so stupid, so asinine that right then and there you threw up your hands or just screamed, or just threw up your hands AND screamed?

It happened to me last week, while reading a column in The New York Times Magazine. It was about this woman, Amy Richards (as told to Amy Barrett), who was pregnant with triplets. You'd think that was wonderful news. But not to Amy. She wanted to know if there was a way she could have just one of the babies. As she relates her conversation with her doctor: "Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?"

She coolly, almost icily explains how her obstetrician, although she wasn't an expert in "selective reduction," knew that "with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more." I couldn't believe what I was reading. This woman was seriously considering aborting two perfectly fine fetuses, whether her boyfriend liked it or not. And here's the kicker, the boyfriend didn't like it. He had heard the three heartbeats on the sonogram. He wanted the triplets. To which she snipped: "This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets."

Apparently Amy tells her boyfriend it isn't easy being pregnant, let alone carrying triplets. Fine for him to say go have 'em, I guess, but he's not the one who would likely have to be put on bed rest at 20 weeks, or be forced to shop at Costco to buy big jars of mayonnaise (heaven forbid!).

No, this poor schmuck who got her knocked up in the first place can't possibly relate to how Amy's poor life will be turned upside down. He can't fathom the inconvenience or societal pressures. He has no voice in this matter. And she is happy with that.

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I'm incredulous as I go on reading and hear of the procedure that wipes out two innocent lives. She ends up having a boy and reports, "Everything is fine." Maybe for that little boy, I think to myself. Not for the others. They never had a chance. What amazes me is this woman was perfectly willing to go through nine months of a pregnancy and deliver a human being into this world. What she wouldn't do was put up with the discomfort — social and otherwise — of bringing two others along for the ride. They're gone. They're history. They're . . . dead.

I don't believe I've ever read anything so chilling or dismissive. And yet it's freely placed in a prominent column spot in one of the world's most prominent newspapers as if this were just the way it is. Sadly, I guess, it is. But it troubles me deeply, and worries me even more deeply. Not just for the callous indifference to life, but to the very essence of what we might call "convenient life." It wasn't convenient for this woman to have those two other kids. So obliterate them. Remove them. Kill them.

I'm thinking about all the couples out there, desperate for a kid, any kid, in any manner of health, who would gladly walk into that delivery room and take those two burdens off Amy's shoulders. But no, Amy didn't give them a chance, just like she never gave those two babies a chance.

I'm biased. I'm dead-set against abortion. But even I try to understand extenuating circumstances. If Amy had said I don't want to be pregnant, no way, no how, I could see it. I wouldn't understand it or relate to her impossibly dismissive response for ending it, but I would better comprehend it if she opted to abort the whole damn litter! But no, she aborted two beings, and kept one . . . almost as if she were sifting through stalks of corn at the grocery store . . . throwing in her cart the ears she wanted, passing over the ears she did not.

The difference there, of course, is other shoppers can choose from those other ears. But Amy didn't give those other shoppers the choice or the chance. She scorched the earth. She scorched the possibilities. She scorched . . . us.

Amy tells Amy of not knowing what she'll do if she ever becomes pregnant again. "I would do the same thing if I had triplets again, but if I had twins, I would probably have twins." Thanks, Amy, it's nice to know how your mind works. And it's nice to know how The New York Times works, giving prominence to a woman's odd cherry-picking of life.

I know in this day and age abortion is the law of the land. Some swear by it. Others at it. I'm just shocked when I see in black and white how some parse it, select it, even extol it. As if it were a good thing. Am I the only one in the country who can fathom this is a sick thing — a very sick thing?

Then again, I'm just a man. And as Amy seemed to surmise to Amy, this is just a life. The life you choose. And the two . . . you do not.

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Neil Cavuto is managing editor of Business News at FOX News Channel. He is also the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and "Cavuto on Business." He's the author of "More Than Money : True Stories of People Who Learned Life's Ultimate Lesson". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.


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© 2003, Neil Cavuto