So. Nadya Suleman. She had eight babies at once. And she already had six. No job, no husband, no income, etc. Taxpayer burden, selfish, crazy, blah, blah, blah. You can probably guess where I land on this one. Heather at dooce.com took up the issue with another few bloggers in a momversation video.
I agree with Heather. You can’t attack reproductive rights on a case-by-case basis just because she made what most would deem a bad personal medical decision. I question her mental acuity and think her choice was likely made with selfish motivations, but it is the doctor who transferred so many embryos who is at fault. His ethics failed. It is not unethical to be crazy and a parent. It is not my place, or anyone’s place, to judge what she wants for a family.
What bothers me the most is people calling her Octomom and referring to her children as a litter. That only serves to dehumanize her so that people feel justified in spewing out vitriol on her and judging her fitness to parent these kids. The intense hatred that is being voiced says way more about our attitudes about race and class in this country than it does about her or her parenting skills. The idea that octuplets would be more socially acceptable if she were white, married, and rich is despicable. The doctor who transferred so many embryos without first getting her to agree to selectively reduce should all implant is the one who should be up for judgment professionally and in the court of public opinion, not her. As for the cost of rearing them, I fail to see how it makes much of a difference whether taxpayer support is given to eight children in eight different families or eight children all under one roof. People saying that the children should be removed from her care without any evidence of abuse or neglect for her other six children would quickly change their tune if that type of reasoning could be applied to them based upon, say, how many drinks they have with dinner out and then drive their kids home, or whether they smoke around their kids, or whether they force their kids to sit in proper car seats and buckle up. It will be interesting to see how public opinion on this issue changes over time, if at all.