A woman in California has delivered 8 babies at one time–octuplets, no less, at 31 weeks, the smallest at 1lb 8oz and the largest 3lb 4oz and of them 6 boys and 2 girls and apparently all doing well. Details come drizzling out and have caused more than the usual amount of “water-cooler” discussion in the hospital and clinic where I work.
This woman is alleged to be single, to have conceived by in vitro fertilization and to have had her first six children the same way. Reports say the same father is listed for the first six children. The neighbors have reported this sperm donor from a while back is apparently not in the picture. Other reports says she had left over frozen embryos which were implanted at her request. She declined “selective reduction”, abortion of the several while in the womb, leaving a lower number of babies inside to try to improve outcome. She released a statement stating she was thrilled. She has been identified and has an advanced degree. She went through bankruptcy 3/08 with a debt of almost $100,000. She lives with her parents who have also been impoverished and do not sound to be supportive of their daughter’s blessed event.
So, what are the complaints?
First, I’ll tell you mine.
She’s not married. The babies are from a “donor”. That, to me, is immoral. The number? 8 is a lot. But once conceived, I agree in doing everything to bring them to safe delivery. I do not regard infertility treatments to be immoral except for traditional reasons. The Catholic church has a different view that the only moral way to have a baby is from sexual intercourse between a married couple.
Complaints I’ve heard and some I’ve read.
1) The doctor who implanted the embryos should a) lose his or her license b) be disciplined c) be arrested. This is based on the generally accepted medical rule of only implanting a few embryos at a time.
2) A woman having 8 children at once with 6 children at home is a) stealing money from the state b)totally irresponsible c) crazy d) should have her children removed from the home by social service because the children will obviously not receive good care.
Mostly, what I hear is the tut-tut-ing of self-righteous indignation.
Sorry, but it does little good to get worked into a lather now. Pandora’s box was opened long ago.
How often have I heard it is morally OK for a lesbian woman to conceive via in vitro with unknown donor sperm? Or a single woman the same way? Lots of times. And what I hear is that I have no right to make a moral judgment on such behavior. Even now, there is an OB/GYN in California who is in trouble with the state because he would not perform in vitro on a single, lesbian woman. And he even arranged a referral complete with an appointment to a different clinic that would do the procedure!
How often have I heard that marriage should in no way be tied to welfare benefits? Women need a man like a fish needs a bicycle, to quote a famous feminist.
So let’s review. This bag full of babies causes bloviating and bluster from so-called “tolerant” politicos and other amateur moralists for what reason? She’s single , used in vitro to have a gaggle of kids and might go on welfare? Puh-leese.
Poor Ms. Nadya Suleman, the octuplet progenitor, educated and working on a counseling degree has committed the cardinal sin of illustrating the logical extension of the moral bankruptcy of in vitro for anyone at anytime combined with an exuberant love of children. Both unacceptable violations of the liberal ethic.
The doctor, if from the US, may yet be have to explain his or her actions. It’s too late for liberals to question her behavior, in my mind.