My Aunt Priscilla once explained to me that China’s enforced one-child policy in a single generation eliminated the existence of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I will never forget the moment. It put a chill in my spine that never quite went away.
I felt it twinge again last night when I read this New York Times Magazine story on a flight home to New York. It struck a primordial nerve in me that wanted to break down and weep upon learning the news.
The story is about a growing practice among couples with twins on the way. One child is selectively eradicated in Sophie’s-Choice fashion. The Times author calls it a half-abortion, which is an existential affront, I think, to the very whole fetus who is terminated.
The idea of a twin coming into the world absent his or her brother or sister seems like an extraordinary tragedy to me. The fact that the practice occurs on purpose is intrinsically sickening.
This economy we can survive. But this kind of science will damn us all to hell.