By Dave Andrusko
A newspaper column and a post at Bionews.org today reminded me that I have failed to keep our NRL News Today audience up to date on two women who have refused to abort babies they are carrying as surrogates.
The cases are both eerily similar and complicated, but there several common denominators. Each surrogate mothers is carrying triplets and refusing an insistence that they abort “surplus” babies. Both women are from California and are more than 17 weeks along, but exactly how far is not clear. Both no longer are receiving payments for their surrogacy “services,” according to the New York Post. (However, the attorney for the man who contracted with Cook told the Daily Beast his client has continued to make payments.)
We first talked earlier this month about Melissa Cook . Until today we hadn’t written specifically about Brittneyrose Torres.
Torres took her story to the New York Post, after reading about Cook’s dilemma.
According to reporter Carl Campanile, two ovum were implanted in Torres via In Vitro Fertilization. (The sperm and eggs were the couple’s own.)
One of the embryo split off and developed into identical twin boys. The unidentified couple wants Torres to abort the third triplet, a girl, using the euphemism “selective reduction.” The couple flatly refused Torres’ request to adopt the girl.
In both cases, those who contracted with the women say there is a provision in the contract that allows them the right to order an abortion. Campanile writes
Torres says she agreed to become a surrogate after the sister of the intended mom had written on Facebook about how the couple couldn’t have kids.
The intended parents initially seemed excited about having three babies, she said. But around week 12 of the pregnancy, they demanded that she abort the female fetus, claiming increased medical risks for developmental disabilities.
“I emailed my doctors. There were no abnormalities,” Torres said, going on to describe a difficult talk with the biological mother.
“I told her I couldn’t abort one of the children,” she said. “I could not emotionally and physically do that at nearly 13 weeks. I believe it will be killing this baby.”
In Cook’s case, she entered in a contract in which she would be paid $33,000 to carry a baby conceived through IVF using a Georgia man’s sperm and a 20-year-old woman’s eggs. The contract specified $6,000 for each additional child. Three ovum were implanted.
A scan at nine weeks showed that all three embryos had gone on to develop normally. Cook, who has never met the father, told the New York Post that she was sent a letter by his lawyer Robert Warmsley, asking her to undergo ‘selective reduction’ (abortion of one of the fetuses). He stated that failure to adhere to the agreement could lead to ‘loss of all benefits under the agreement, damages in relation to future care of the children [and] medical costs associated with any extraordinary care the children may need.’
“They are human beings,” said Cook. “I bonded with these kids. This is just not right.”