Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) have expressed their concern over a report in yesterday's Sunday Times on 'fetal reduction interventions' multiple taking place in pregnancies created by infertility treatment. "Fetal reduction is a euphemism for feticide," said a CORE spokesperson. "The unfortunate developing baby or babies who are deemed to be surplus to the requirements of the commissioning couple are killed by fatal injection, their fate determined arbitrarily according to their proximity to the lethal needle. "The Sunday Times reports that 49 such babies were killed in 2001. Our research indicates that in some years the figures have been even higher. In 1998 for instance 115 unborn lives were terminated by this barbaric practice. "Nor are we talking about high risk multiple pregnancies. The majority involve triplet or twin pregnancies. The operation cannot be pleasant for the mother, but it is difficult to understand how somebody so anxious to have a baby, is unable to welcome that baby's twin as well. "Fertility drugs and the number of embryos implanted in IVF cycles are directly responsible for the huge increase in multiple births. The clear and ethical response is to regulate the drugs in a responsible manner (they are currently completely unregulated) and limit the number of embryos that can be replaced in the womb. Sweden, for example, has very successful IVF outcomes implanting only one embryo at a time. How long will it take for the HFEA to face up to its responsibilities and impose real limits on these practices? Infertility cures cannot be applied in a moral vacuum "We wouldn't let this happen to animals, but where the unborn human is concerned anything is tolerated. We are simply blinded by the cruel rhetoric of reproductive choice. The conscience of our nation needs some serious jolting. We cannot deny our complicity if we do nothing about this feticide."
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