Sunday, May 6, The Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece called “The Abortion Debate Brought Home” by Dan Neil, who writes a column for West magazine.

He opens his piece with, “My wife and I just had an abortion. Two, actually.” From that point, Neil, who is “pro-choice,” criticizes pro-lifers, the Supreme Court for upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions and, on a personal note, offends parents of children with disabilities and, specifically, parents of children with autism.

Neil explains that their third attempt at in vitro was successful and four of the five implanted embryos began to thrive. Two boys and two girls. Of course, doctors immediately suggested aborting two of the four– in medicine, this is euphemistically referred to as a “reduction” which bizarrely sounds like an exercise class at the Y.

After genetic testing to determine if any of the children could be candidates for abortion because of a disability, the testing showed all four to be perfectly normal. Yet, the Neil’s decided to keep the girls. Asked how they made this decision, Neil writes, “Partly, it was a matter of how the fetuses were arranged. Partly, it had to do with other factors. Some studies show offspring of older fathers (I’m 47) run a higher risk of autism and males are four times as likely to be autistic.”

Neil watched the doctor perform the abortion, writing that he sat holding his wife’s hand, “watching the ultrasound as a needle with potassium chloride found its mark, stopping the heart of one male fetus, then the other, hidden in my wife’s suffering belly.”

I have sympathy with their desire to be parents, but that’s where my sympathy ends. As a woman who has battled infertility, has had one miscarriage and is mother to two children with autism, my sympathy runs a little short with someone who thinks he somehow deserves children only on his terms.

Laura Echevarria (www.lauraechevarria.com )

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