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Old 11-27-2019, 05:48 AM
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is it immoral to keep trying to have children if you keep having miscarriages?


I was reading a story where one of the jersey shores wife participants had a miscarriage and they said they were going to try again.. and there was a story about another celeb "finally having a child after so many miscarriages" that i cant find


Now I understand that most people will try again..... but when or if does it cross the line from "keep trying" to what a relative considers manslaughter?
(her daughter knowing she couldn't carry a child refused to take or do anything to not become pregnant and had at least 4-5 we know of....)

Of course it might depend on how far along it happens to be considered life.....
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:48 AM
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but when or if does it cross the line from "keep trying" to what a relative considers manslaughter?
Never.

A miscarriage (a normal one, not a trauma- or poison- or disease-induced one) is just a natural process. It can be pretty traumatic, especially if fairly far along (believe me, I know intimately how traumatic that can be) but it's not something anybody actually did. There doesn't need to be any negligence involved, it's often just the body rejecting something that was never going to go to term anyway. Adding accusations of manslaughter on top of the existing trauma is ... unkind at best.

Add to that the number of women who have one or even several miscarriages, and then go on to have a healthy baby anyway, and I don't see how you can judge trying as immoral at all.

Last edited by MrDibble; 11-27-2019 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:56 AM
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Nothing immoral in the least. Keep trying.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:40 AM
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I'm trying to think how it could be. Maybe if you're really anti-abortion? But if it's for religious reasons (I'm assuming it almost always is?) then maybe it's up to God whether you carry to term. So I don't see how it could be a problem.

Maybe you could make some argument about straining medical resources but I'm not sure I could buy that.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:54 AM
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I don't see it as immoral.

My views of the preborn are from the Bible. Yes they are a soul and do have conscientious (Luke 1:41) , however, even though their human life body is being created inside the mother by God , their soul is not inside their body yet, but in 'hidden places' underground with God in the womb (Ps 139:15). My take on the womb is that it is biblically not the uterus. There are many biblical cites for the word womb which is used more in the context that it is not in the woman's body or not completely inside and is something very strange to us. The best I can piece it together the womb is described as a gateway between realms which God can open and shut which has one side inside the mother, the other side is also part of the mother, in this the uterus is just one side of basically a 'stargate' to use a SciFi term, but both sides are of the mother.

As such miscarriages such as the OP describes and even abortion, is not a moral issue. Also to me it is the reason the Bible does not mention abortion. It's just closing the door, not ending the life. The Bible is, among other things, a guideline for life, and the reason that it doesn't even mention abortion would seem to me because it's a non-issue, ironically this hot button topic overflowing with moral issues, judgements and condensations on the human side is a total non-issue to God as God has not given us the ability to kill the unborn, just close the door.

With that said I would also add what I believe to be revelation of what it's like in the womb, and from that it's just a natural transition to life with God and the soul is pulled out of the body before any destruction of the body. No pain, no condemnation, no anger towards anyone. It's a simple come with me your body is about to be destroyed, and the soul goes.

Last edited by kanicbird; 11-27-2019 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
Now I understand that most people will try again..... but when or if does it cross the line from "keep trying" to what a relative considers manslaughter?
(her daughter knowing she couldn't carry a child refused to take or do anything to not become pregnant and had at least 4-5 we know of....)
Did her mother think the daughter was just being careless? I find that hard to believe. The first part of pregnancy is terrible--that's when you have morning sickness and when you are profoundly exhausted. And miscarriages are usually not medical emergencies (assuming they happen in the first few weeks) but they aren't fun.

When you are trying for a baby, you get a lot of shit from people who, for reasons I don't understand, feel offended or frustrated by infertility in others. From almost day one, it's "maybe you just aren't meant to have children" and "have you considered that God/the Universe/whatever has a different plan for you?". I mean, women who are trying the most basic interventions get this shit. So adding "Is it possible you are a murderer?" to the list seems cruel.

There's also lots of women who have several miscarriages and go on to have a healthy baby.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:02 AM
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I believe that all deliberate attempts to reproduce, when the world is already so overcrowded, is somewhat selfish and immoral. I don't believe doing so after a miscarriage is any worse though.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:33 AM
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The "manslaughter" aspect is a complete non-starter.

The only way I could consider it in the least "immoral" was if I questioned it in terms of medical resources being consumed, or if it imposed a significant emotional strain on those most immediately involved.

I have sympathy for couples whom I've heard of who experienced multiple miscarriages. I cannot imagine how challenging that would be on so many fronts. Personally, I do not know when I would encourage my wife that we should stop trying.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
when or if does it cross the line from "keep trying" to what a relative considers manslaughter?
(her daughter knowing she couldn't carry a child refused to take or do anything to not become pregnant and had at least 4-5 we know of....)

Of course it might depend on how far along it happens to be considered life.....
a) It's never an issue as far as I'm concerned. A fertilized ovum is (to me) quite obviously alive, and quite obviously human, but has no investment in that life yet, no consciousness or aspirations.

b) I don't comprehend the singular horror attached to killing people. There are far far worse things you can do to a person than kill them. People eventually die anyway. What you do to a person when you kill them is rob them of the future experiences they would otherwise have. But coercion and torture and otherwise imposing horrible experiences on a person seems far worse to me. In the case of a miscarriage, there's not much risk of protracted physical pain, zero risk of significant emotional agony, experience of coercion or moral compromise etc. The individual who is experiencing those things in this situation is the woman who keeps getting pregnant in hopes of giving birth, and in most cases probably her partner and other friends and family members, and they're presumably doing this volitionally.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:32 AM
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Yes, thank you, AHunter3. I've been pointing out for a long time that a zygote is, unambiguously, not just alive but human life, but that that fact is completely irrelevant. When does personhood begin, now that's both a much more relevant and much more difficult question.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:26 AM
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I wouldn't go so far as to say immoral, but I think I see where the OP is coming from.

It's one thing if you want 2-3 kids and you have a few miscarriages along the way. That's how the biology works out. But I've heard tales of couples who have some really high number of miscarriages- like 6-8, who are still trying to have a kid (or another kid). At some point, I have to question their motivation- clearly there's something that's not working in the usual way, and at that point, they know it and keep on with the same behavior, knowing full well that they're liable to end up with the same outcome. I want to point out that this isn't good old Catholic Roulette I'm talking about here, but deliberate attempts to conceive a child.

I'm not sure if that's immoral or not, but it's definitely a willful disregard of the facts.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:37 AM
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Why? I mean, let's say you have a 1/4-chance of having a viable pregnancy, because you and your spouse each have an unfortunate gene. Six or even 8 miscarriages would not be wildly improbable, but you'd have pretty good odds of having a successful pregnancy eventually, like within a dozen pregnancies.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:03 AM
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I suppose I could see an argument if a woman had a medical condition such that it was possible for her to get pregnant but impossible for her to gestate the baby to the point where a viable birth was possible. If a miscarriage was the only possible result of a pregnancy, then it would seem like the pragmatic thing to do would be to take action to prevent pregnancy in the first place. Pragmatism and morality are not the same thing, but I think it’s moral to try to prevent a traumatic situation from happening. Is the converse true when applied to this hypothetical? I don’t have a definite opinion, but I can understand an argument that inaction is immoral.

That said, I don’t know if such a medical condition actually exists. I believe that’s one for General Questions.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:08 AM
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My mother had several miscarriages during the first four years of her marriage. She was told to just accept that she was sterile. When she went to her Gyn after missing her period four times in a row, he wanted to have a D and C then and there, because it was "impossible" that she'd be pregnant; the cause of the missing periods clearly had to be some kind of tumor.

The tumor typing this has two younger brothers.

Forgive my selfishness, but I'm kind of glad my parents didn't stop trying.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:49 AM
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I donít see any moral concern with multiple miscarriages.

Some of the implications are interesting though.

Last edited by octopus; 11-27-2019 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:43 PM
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I don't see any moral problem with having multiple miscarriages. The closest I could get would be people having multiple children with severe disabilities or way more children then they can take care of.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:37 PM
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:59 PM
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Of course not.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:30 PM
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When is a miscarriage the same as manslaughter? Never. That's a ridiculous notion.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:51 PM
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Immoral, no. Heartbreaking, possibly.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 11-27-2019 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:50 PM
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Not only is it not immoral, but it used to be far, far more common, back before the days of modern medicine. It was almost expected, at times, to have one or two pregnancies end in a miscarriage or stillbirth. (And a good many women were lucky if they themselves survived giving birth!)

Queen Anne of Great Britain was pregnant 17 times, despite that, most ended as miscarriages, or stillbirths. Only 5 survived, and of those, 4 died as infants, and the one who didn't, Prince William, died when he was 11. And even then, he was frail and sickly.

The whole idea is tragic enough, without being labeled "immoral".
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:51 PM
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I support the right to choose an abortion (with typical term-based and medical caveats) and don't consider abortion murder or manslaughter. So obviously I don't consider an unwanted miscarriage to be manslaughter either.

But I sort of see the OP's point that this reveals a bit of cognitive dissonance in the views of some "life-begins-at-conception" advocates, at least in cases where a woman is aware that she's medically very prone to miscarriage.

If you really believe that a fertilized ovum is just as much a full human person and has just as many rights as a born baby, then deliberately bringing a fertilized ovum into a uterine environment where you know it is extremely unlikely to survive obviously counts as deliberately endangering a child. Failure to provide appropriate resources to meet a child's basic needs, including the need for physical safety, may not be manslaughter but it's definitely child neglect and/or child endangerment, which qualify as forms of child abuse.

Poor and dysfunctional parents who get hit with child neglect and child endangerment charges are often critiqued on the grounds that "they shouldn't have children if they can't care for them properly". Well, if you believe that conceiving a fertilized ovum is exactly the same thing as "having a child", and you know that your biology for whatever reasons makes you very prone to miscarriage, then arguably you are fundamentally incapable of caring for that child properly because your body is almost certainly going to kill it. In such a situation, is it moral for you to keep on deliberately having children in an environment so fatally dangerous to them?


Mind you, I personally don't view conception or early pregnancy as morally identical to "having children", so I don't have a problem with it. But for someone who does claim to believe that life with full human rights begins at the moment of conception, I think they're being somewhat inconsistent if they don't see any ethical problem with a miscarriage-prone woman deliberately having and then (inadvertently but predictably) killing lots of children, just in hopes of someday maybe lucking into a child that she'll manage not to kill.

(Of course, as I've pointed out before, people who claim to believe that life with full human rights begins at the moment of conception often are somewhat inconsistent in their attitudes toward the rights and importance of most "pre-born humans".)

Last edited by Kimstu; 11-27-2019 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:14 PM
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I don't think that really follows. The objection to having children you can't care for is that they suffer. Even if you believe a fertilIzed ovum is a person, there isn't any suffering going on in an early miscarriage. If you believe baby goes straight to heaven, well, that's no sin.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:15 PM
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I am not a doctor, parent, husband or woman. This is something I've heard, but have no cite to back it up.

The average (fertile, sexually active, would-like-to-get-pregnant) woman is "pregnant" a few dozen times in her life, in that she's got a fertilized egg she's carrying, but her body spontaneously aborts it within the first week or two and she never knows she was pregnant that time. That's just what happens, it's stupid and cruel to assign some degree of morality to it. Miscarriages farther down the time frame? Same thing. It just wasn't her time, and it has no bearing on the next time at all.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:25 PM
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The objection to having children you can't care for is that they suffer.
Well, that's far from the only reason that parents get penalized for having children that they can't (or don't) care for.

You can be liable to child neglect/endangerment charges, or worse, for deliberately putting your child in a dangerous environment that kills them, even if their death is quick and painless with zero suffering.

Quote:
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Even if you believe a fertilIzed ovum is a person, there isn't any suffering going on in an early miscarriage.
In the case of a born child, though, that would not be a valid defense. "Your Honor, I know I deliberately placed my beloved child in a highly unsafe environment that I couldn't remove him from and that ended up killing him, but at least there was no suffering involved." Um, nope.
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:04 AM
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Presumably, in that scenario it wasn't an absolute requirement for life that the child be placed in that environment. If a couple had a baby that needed surgery to live, but then that surgery went wrong and the child died, that's not murder.
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:21 PM
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In trying to think up a scenario where it potentially becomes a moral issue, all that came to mind is a hypothetical woman who keeps getting pregnant on purpose but who also keeps using drugs or engaging in similarly risky activities that end up causing her to miscarry, after which she blithely gets pregnant again with no intention of modifying her behavior.
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Old 11-28-2019, 03:05 PM
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In trying to think up a scenario where it potentially becomes a moral issue, all that came to mind is a hypothetical woman who keeps getting pregnant on purpose but who also keeps using drugs or engaging in similarly risky activities that end up causing her to miscarry, after which she blithely gets pregnant again with no intention of modifying her behavior.
I donít see any moral issue here.
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Old 11-28-2019, 04:48 PM
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I would never have been born, had my mother followed the OP’s tenet. Anyway, the answer is “no.”

Last edited by JKellyMap; 11-28-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 11-28-2019, 05:44 PM
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Presumably, in that scenario it wasn't an absolute requirement for life that the child be placed in that environment. If a couple had a baby that needed surgery to live, but then that surgery went wrong and the child died, that's not murder.
AFAICT nobody is saying that any of these scenarios from any viewpoint hypothesized here would actually count as murder.

The question is, can a case be made that such a scenario is immoral in some way? Personally, I don't believe that conceiving multiple times, even if you're well aware that because of your medical issues your embryo/fetus will almost certainly miscarry, is immoral in any way.

But if you're somebody who believes that it's immoral for people to have children that they can't or won't care for properly, and you also believe that a pregnant woman "has a child" from the very instant of conception, then I don't see how you can logically avoid the conclusion that it's immoral for a woman to deliberately conceive children that she knows her body will almost certainly kill.

If you don't actually believe that an embryo/fetus has exactly the same full personhood status and rights as a born child, of course, then the logical inconsistency goes away.

Last edited by Kimstu; 11-28-2019 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:03 PM
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AFAICT nobody is saying that any of these scenarios from any viewpoint hypothesized here would actually count as murder.

The question is, can a case be made that such a scenario is immoral in some way? Personally, I don't believe that conceiving multiple times, even if you're well aware that because of your medical issues your embryo/fetus will almost certainly miscarry, is immoral in any way.

But if you're somebody who believes that it's immoral for people to have children that they can't or won't care for properly, and you also believe that a pregnant woman "has a child" from the very instant of conception, then I don't see how you can logically avoid the conclusion that it's immoral for a woman to deliberately conceive children that she knows her body will almost certainly kill.

If you don't actually believe that an embryo/fetus has exactly the same full personhood status and rights as a born child, of course, then the logical inconsistency goes away.
Look, I don't think it's immoral, either, but I don't think it's hypocritical to think "if a child is created in my body and dies of natural causes without suffering, it's a beautiful miracle, and no sin occurs, but if someone fails to protect a living child from a preventable cause of death, that is a sin. " I mean, it's not my worldview, but I honestly find it no less consistent than "it's immoral to have a child you know will die". I mean, all of us are a child someone had, knowing we will die. That doesn't make our moms culpable for our deaths.
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:48 PM
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I don't think it's hypocritical to think "if a child is created in my body and dies of natural causes without suffering, it's a beautiful miracle, and no sin occurs, but if someone fails to protect a living child from a preventable cause of death, that is a sin. "
Well, ISTM that to get that reasoning over the line into the non-hypocrisy zone, it requires not looking too hard at the convenient passive voice of "a child is created in my body".

A couple who conceive via unprotected consensual sex with the conscious goal of parenthood have deliberately chosen to create that child (using "child" for embryo, in the hypothetical viewpoint of somebody who believes that there's no difference morally between the personhood/rights of a fertilized egg and those of a born child).

If they did so knowing full well that the child will almost certainly die in utero due to clearly identified and predictable medical problems, I don't see how you can argue---from that viewpoint, at least---that they're not to some extent morally responsible for the child's death (though not, of course, to the extent of murder). That death was entirely foreseeable and preventable by not conceiving the child in the first place.

Or here's a further exploration of the question: If the couple know that it will be far less risky for the child if they use in vitro fertilization and a surrogate, rather than the almost certain death from natural conception and pregnancy due to the mother's medical issues, would it be immoral of them to try for a natural pregnancy anyhow rather than going the surrogacy route? (Again, from the viewpoint of the same "fertilized-egg-is-fully-a-person" ethical stance.)

Last edited by Kimstu; 11-28-2019 at 07:49 PM.
  #33  
Old 11-29-2019, 07:45 AM
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I would not consider that unethical, even if the embryo is a "child". They aren't causing any suffering, and they aren't killing it . . .they are giving it a chance at life.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:49 AM
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I consider what the Duggers did more immoral than continuing trying when you haven't had any (which is not at all immoral).
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:43 PM
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No, I don't think having multiple miscarriages is immoral.

Having children when you know the chances are good that they will have a debilitating disease though...
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:24 PM
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No, I don't think having multiple miscarriages is immoral.

Having children when you know the chances are good that they will have a debilitating disease though...
I suppose relating to my earlier comment, if the woman was drinking lots of alcohol during pregnancy (assuming we attribute this even partly to morality rather than wholly to addiction) and she miscarried some of her pregnancies while others resulted in children suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome, we might look askance at her not taking steps to avoid further pregnancies.
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