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February 9, 2009

Reproductive rights and the problem of the octuplets

amp_071011_reproductive-justice-banner_large.pngActually, there is no problem with Nadya Suleman's octuplets, they are beautiful gifts from God who need our prayers. There is something very wrong with Nadya and the fertility industry that certainly did not consider the babies well-being. There is something even more wrong with the society that allowed this to happen.

In case you haven't heard about Nadya, she is a single southern California woman with six children at home who just underwent in vitro fertilization and gave birth to octuplets. So, now she is a single mother of 14 children.

So what is wrong with this situation? We all know in our gut that something isn't right here. Is it all Nadya? Well, in her favor she did not selectively kill any of the eight babies growing inside her. She had made that bed and was going to lie in it. Her mother said she was "obsessed with children." When someone is obsessed with anything, it may seem like they want the best for the object of their obsession, but really they just want the object, regardless of the consequences. Clearly, Nadya let her obsession get the best of her, but she didn't get pregnant with octuplets on her own.

Enter the fertility industry. So what part of this situation falls on their shoulders? Doctors should know better than to implant that many embryos into a single woman who already has 6 children. But then again, they should know not to make human embryos in a dish to being with. This case has brought to light how unregulated the fertility industry is. Which reminds me of this great verbal gem:

"A woman gets more regulatory oversight when she gets a tattoo than when she gets IVF." --Brooks Keel, M.D., University of Kansas School of Medicine
And why is the fertility industry so unregulated? Good old political correctness. Far be it from anyone to tell Nadya that creating multiple offspring in a dish and implanting them all is not such a good idea. Listen to the doctors from this article:

But Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, who has fertility clinics in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York, countered: "Who am I to say that six is the limit? There are people who like to have big families."

"I am not a policeman for reproduction in the United States. My role is to educate patients," said Dr. James Grifo, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York University School of Medicine.

In the context of this case, these quotes seem callous. But apply them to regular reproduction, (you know the old-fashioned way), and they are right. I do not want to have some doctor telling me that my husband and I can only have a certain number of children. It seems so me more and more it is the "artificialness" of the reproduction that is the real problem here.

I have said repeatedly that Roe Vs. Wade created these very slippery rights called "reproductive rights" that started with not having a baby if you didn't want one, even if that meant riping a living fetus from your womb and has mushroomed into having as many babies as you want, anyway you want 'em. Even if you are too old or do not have anyone to make them with. In either case, "reproductive rights" has allowed the wants of the parents to trump any rights or needs of the resulting children.




November 1, 2008 October 27, 2008 December 7, 2007



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