23 August 2011

Uncommon Commentary #205: Nature Isn't the Only Mother Who's Savage

The New York Times recently ran an article called The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, about pregnant women who, discovering that they are carrying twins, choose to have one of their unborns aborted. The reason given is nearly always that one makes a better parent if one must parent fewer children. This bureaucratic approach to motherhood has already received comment at LiveAction.org; what I'd like to add is that the trend provides additional evidence that we human beings, made by God to be "only a little lower than the heavenly beings" [Psalms 8:5], increasingly behave more like animals. Many species of bird, especially birds of prey, lay two eggs each mating season; the chick that hatches first will take advantage of its greater size to dominate its sibling, attacking it repeatedly and ensuring its weakness by monopolizing the food brought by the pair's elders. The younger one almost inevitably dies as a consequence of this bullying, but its demise is cruelly logical in our fallen world, for the parents are unable to feed more than one offspring; zoologists tell us that the birds' laying two eggs rather than one makes for an avian insurance policy, since, if something should befall one egg, there will be another to keep alive the dream of successful reproduction.
The birds, of course, have the excuse that they are only brutes acting from instinct; what excuse do we have?