Surrogate Refuses Bio-Parents' Request to Abort 1 of Their Triplets

pregnancyIn the world of modern medicine, sometimes there just aren't easy answers. Surrogate Brittneyrose Torres is refusing to abort one of the three fetuses she's carrying for a childless couple -- even though they're the ones who believe the abortion is necessary. Is that fair?


Torres is now 17 weeks pregnant with the couple's triplets (twin boys, who formed after one implanted egg split into two, and a girl). She says that the parents-to-be knew from the start that she would be opposed to abortion, unless it was a "life-and-death situation." But, at about 12 weeks into the pregnancy, the parents told Torres that their doctors recommended aborting the girl fetus, in order to reduce the risk of abnormalities for the other two.

Torres refuses, and now she's 17 weeks along with all three fetuses.

I find this a really tough issue. Of course, if the biological mom were carrying these babies, she and the father-to-be would have every right to make this call. Whether for medical reasons, or for simply not being prepared to cope with three babies at once -- that would absolutely be their decision to make.

And, as a surrogate mom, Torres reportedly signed a contract, which seems to have stated that the biological parents had the right to make medical decisions for the babies -- including choosing abortion if necessary. (The intended parents have, in fact, put a stop to their payments to Torres based on this breach of contract.) The fetuses aren't the surrogate's ...

But it is her body.

When I say I'm pro-choice, that's because I believe it's a woman's fundamental right to make decisions about her own reproductive health, about her family, and about her body.

Brittanyrose Torres is not biologically related to the babies she carries, but it is she who carries them. She can feel them growing in her body, and it's understandable that she feels emotionally attached, and protective of them. And, after her doctor told her there are no medical issues with any of the fetuses, she believes that it would be wrong to abort one of them. Isn't that also her choice to make? She's even offered to adopt the baby girl, but the parents -- understandably -- have refused.

With the advances in reproductive medicine, so many people have the chance to become parents who otherwise would have been denied. It's truly a wonderful, miraculous thing. But, along with these advances come questions and dilemmas like this.

Hopefully stories like this won't deter other women from becoming surrogates. What an incredible gift to give someone -- and yes, it's still a gift, even if you're being paid for it. Perhaps this story, and others like it, will help future parents-to-be and their surrogates think carefully about what they're truly willing to agree to before signing any contracts.

More from The Stir: 14 Celebrities Who Gave Up Their Kids for Adoption (PHOTOS)

And, I hope this story has a happy ending -- with Brittanyrose Torres knowing that she helped bring healthy babies into a loving home.


Image via Heide Benser/Corbis

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