An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

And here I thought one was a total kick in the ass

This week I started a Momversation about the ethics of planned multiple births, or more specifically, holy cow, that woman has 14 kids. See here:

I wanted to bring this discussion here because I’m sure you’ve all got opinions about this story, and I’m willing to bet that a few of you let out a more than audible, “Do what?” when it was revealed that Nadya Suleman not only gave birth to premature octuplets, but that she also had six other kids waiting for her at home. And she lives with her mom. And she doesn’t have a job. And the father is not involved whatsoever. Did that story just get weirder and weirder, or what, right? It got to the point where I wouldn’t have been surprised if they reported that she kept all the placentas in her freezer so that if she ever ran out of strawberries she’d have something with which to make smoothies.

I remember where I was when I first heard about this story, and before any of the various details came out about this woman and her situation I told Jon, just wait. People are going to get all bent out of shape now about reproductive medicine. And in watching and reading the reactions to this story, I believe this is exactly what has happened. And dear lord, if people who struggle with infertility didn’t need more heartache and obstacles put in their way. As I say in the video, it’s such a shame that the media has turned this into such a circus, this isolated incident involving an obviously questionable and renegade doctor who I think holds most of the blame if there is any in this situation. And all it serves to do is make it harder for other people, other reasonable individuals, to explore their reproductive options. Because all of a sudden people are now saying asinine things about how women should be forced to adopt if they can’t conceive a child without medicine, or how the people of California should be able to force Nadya to give up her children because their tax dollars are being used to help raise them. Yes, how about we give a multiple choice test to women and let a committee decide who is and who isn’t fit to be a mother. Anyone with tattoos need not apply!

Is this an unfortunate and complicated situation? Absolutely, and I do not think it is physically possible for one person to take care of the basic needs of 14 children. She is going to need a considerable amount of help, and as much as people might be disgusted by Nadya, there are 14 children here who had no say at all as to what conditions they’d be born into. But again, I think this is an extremely isolated incident, and making sweeping statements and judgments about women’s reproductive rights and options because of it is ill-conceived and bone-headed.

I can’t believe I’m going to open comments on this because I imagine there will be a lot of screaming, but I’d love to hear from men and women who have struggled with infertility and would encourage others to listen to their side of this issue. Everyone play nice.

  • From what I understand, the same number of eggs were implanted in all of her IVF treatments. Most of the time, she had one child, once she had twins. And the last time, she had 8 because all 6 eggs implanted, two of which split into twins. If that is the case, you can’t blame the girl for wanting to implant all of the remaining 6 eggs, because 5 times before, it hadn’t resulted in extreme multiples.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever her motivations for having this many children are, the sad fact of the matter is that her actions have brought the onus of intense scrutinization on her. Unless she can maintain these children in appropriate living conditions, I don’t see how she will be able to avoid having the government take some of her children away. I see everyone losing in this scenario – the mom and the kids.

  • This could be just a rumor that I may be irresponsibly perpetuating, but are all of her kids fully mentally and physically able? (How do I say that without sounding like a douche?) I heard that some have very special needs. That (if it is true) exponentially increases the concern for me. 14 seems crazy. 14…with even 1/14 needing special attention…seems abusive and cruel. It’s a challenge to be as fully available to any child, let alone to one (or more!) who may need even more of your special care.

  • Book

    An outpouring of non-judgmental love and support is what is best for these children & Nadya. My tax dollars have helped a lot worse things (hello people look at the bank bail-out). This world needs to stop focusing on what the ‘ideal’ situation is. I will be praying and hoping she gets donations. If she was married and had a job she’d already have a lifetime supply of diapers & formula, etc. Face it, an employed person would have to quit working anyway. And 14 kids would drive almost anyone in the direction of divorce. So maybe she started out ahead of the game 😉 But seriously – regardless of what you or I would do, these children are here. Life is a miracle – and a body to bring them here is too!

  • Katie

    There are plenty of people who make financial mistakes and rely on the government to pick up the pieces. HELLO?? ANYONE READ THE NEWS LATELY?? The issue is not the so called “tax burden”.

    The issue is a sad sad woman and the babies who rely on her and will call her “Mom”.

  • Jim

    Here’s a great article that gave me some perspective on the issue.

  • Stephanie

    You alluded to this in your segment, but I think that if someone is pro-choice, you do not have the right to judge those who struggle with infertility, and whatever decisions they make within that context. And vice versa. If one is pro-infertility, one should also be pro-choice, by nature of the argument.

  • I’m a lesbian, and both of my children were conceived through artificial insemination, as are many, many of the children of my friends. A few of my friends’ kids here and there were also conceived through IVF. I’m going to call this woman with the octuplets the Crazy Lady for simplicity’s sake and because I think she’s crazy. (By the way, referring to the octuplets as “premature octuplets” is redundant, and I’m saying this in the nicest and funniest way possible.) So, I’m not particularly worried about the perception of reproductive technologies changing because of the Crazy Lady’s… decision/madness. She is clearly crazy. There is something wrong in her head that, after having six children, she felt the need to have more children when 1) it wasn’t an “oops” and 2) it couldn’t even happen un-aided. Crazy. Really. No one who is sane could possibly compare her decision to conceive and carry octuplets, thereby creating a family with 14 kids, to my decision to conceive and carry one child, and my partner’s decision to conceive and carry one child, and us ending up with a family of four (two parents, two kids). There simply is no comparison. Anyone who could find a comparison there and worked themselves into indignation is also crazy and probably closer in mindset to the octuplet mom than they are to me. I wouldn’t waste my time worrying about them.

  • Nessa

    You know what, everyone is up in arms about reproductive rights but I DO judge this woman for her choices.

    She has the right to control her own fertility, sure. You know who else has rights? CHILDREN. It’s unfortunate that many children in North America are born into less than ideal circumstances. Many of these births are accidental and due to a lack of birth control, some are planned. But this is an incredible example of irresponsibility. Some of her children have disabilities, eight of them were born nine weeks premature and may have serious health complications. She, as a single parent on welfare, could not possibly meet all the needs of her children. To me, what she’s doing is tantamount to child abuse.
    Some large families do turn out fine and I suppose we’ll see with Nadya, but to me rights deserve to be respected only up until they begin to cause harm to others.
    Especially children.

  • I agree. The idiocy of this woman and her doctor shouldn’t ruin it for everyone else. I don’t agree with what she did. I think her doctor’s practice should be investigated. I feel for her children because SHE is a nutjob.

  • How to remedy? Regulate the number of children a person can have? Umm, something about rights of the people here…

    Perhaps require a mental evaluation for all seeking fertility treatments? Seems unfair, as I didn’t have to have a mental evaluation before I got pregnant naturally (dodged a bullet there).

    Really, all we can do, as in many life situations, is hope that people make good decisions. This woman obviously has issues and didn’t make a good decision, but hopefully she gets the help she needs so she can take care of her kids.

  • Anonymous

    *weren’t there, i mean.

  • I don’t usually comment on here, but I just wanted to say that Teri’s comment made me literally laugh out loud!! Comment 17 just made my Monday!!!

  • I feel really bad for kids in big families, because they get lost in the mix so easily. My stepmother was the youngest of “only” 9 kids, and I always saw the psychological effects of this in a lot of what she did with her life. It’s bad for the planet, unfair to taxpayers, yadda, yadda, yadda, but the worst part is it’s unfair to those poor kids who didn’t have any choice about being born into that situation. I live in CA and I’m happy to help pay for their needs, as well as all the other little ones who need our help.

    I don’t necessarily blame Nadya for the situation. The girl has issues, but her mother has done nothing to help and somehow she actually found a doctor willing to put 8 embryos into a woman who already had 6 kids. THAT is who is to blame here. He probably just wanted the money. Usually I give people the benefit of the doubt, I’m like, the queen of doing that. But this time I just can’t. /shrug

  • My husband and I were very lucky to finally conceive our twins with the help of a very conscientious fertility doctor. I had 3 eggs and she told me if any more had matured (we did IUI, not in vitro) that she would have cancelled the insemination. She wanted me to have a healthy baby, not a litter. The fact that we got pregnant with twins out of those 3 eggs tells me that she was right to be conservative.

    It’s a shame that this isolated circumstance is putting such a negative slant on fertility treatment. There are many, many couples who go through fertility treatments with responsible doctors whose only goal is to help them conceive a child. It sort of feels like Ms. Suleman’s doctor’s goal was publicity. Which he certainly got though at what cost?

  • karen l

    I worry about the 14 children. They are the victims. My husband & I had infertility issues – one uncomplicated pregnancy, then 6 miscarriages in 3 yrs. We underwent all the testing, etc., then gave up. How painful this story of the octuplets must be to couples who are doing everything medically possible, then still not conceiving.
    I am sure the medical profession has guidelines for IVF, and that most drs. are following those guidelines, however – there will ALWAYS be rogue doctors and rogue patients. It’s just a crying shame that this rogue patient was able to carry this many babies to term, resulting in a situation with no happy ending.

  • Laura

    A friend of mine brought up the interesting hypothesis that the only reason people are so up-in-arms about Suleman is that she’s a single mom, and they have problems with a woman wanting to raise a family on her own. This friend was raised (pretty well) by a single mom and finds it all to be quite sexist. She pointed out that no one’s demanding the Duggar children be put in foster care or that Jon & Kate need to be sterilized or have their children taken away. There is the issue of Suleman being on public assistance, which complicates the argument a bit, and is why I can’t quite say I completely agree that it’s a sexist issue.

    However, I don’t like the idea that some people seem to be saying there should be financial qualifications in order to start a family. Where is the line going to stop? You have to make a minimum of 50k a year or else you’re sterilized or denied fertility treatment? It’d be nice if everyone could just stop trying to control women’s reproductive rights.

    A lot of people also seem to be saying you need to pass a mental health check before allowed to have a family. That bothers me again. That’s like saying a deaf or blind or disabled person shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. And where is the line drawn there? If you’ve ever stayed in a mental ward you can’t have kids? That would suck for Dooce. If you’ve ever been on anti-depressants you can’t have kids? That would rule out me and millions of others.

    I totally agree with you Heather that this is a strange case, and I wish people weren’t making all these leaps to saying single women / middle to lower class people / people with mental health issues shouldn’t be allowed to have children.

  • I agree with a lot of the comments that have been posted that it is kind of a sad situation. The medical miracle aspect of it is amazing that all of the 8 babies have survived but she’s kind of giving a bad rap for single mothers out there are supporting themselves. The media is having a field day which, also, distracts from the crummy economic situation since we like our sensation with a side of fries in this country.

    I think that she isn’t quite right in the head in some aspects and feel nothing but sadness for those children. I agree with you that they didn’t ask to be born into the situation but seriously, I don’t need to be paying for her fourteen children.

    I don’t necessarily agree that she should have adopted if she felt the need to have all those babies. One of my friends has a blood condition in which she was advised not to have kids. I offered to be a surrogate but now she’s pregnant and a seemingly normal pregnancy.

    This is a very hard and interesting topic which people have really strong opinions. Awesome of you to open it up for discussion. 🙂

  • I don’t have any fertility issues, so I can’t comment on that.
    As far as the Octopus (that’s what we call her here in Santa Monica, Ca.) goes, honestly I think the 8 new babies need to be taken away from her. There are tons of loving families out there that are dying to adopt. There is no way she is going to be able to raise all those kids, it’s unfair to the kids. I feel for her, but I feel more for the kids. She needs a psych evaluation

  • I have so many questions about how something like this could have happened.
    I’ve been wondering how she paid for the consultations, the IVF, the birth, the hospital stay for her and the children. If she does not have a job, did Medicaid pay for it or did she have some other insurance? Wasn’t there some kind of documentation she had to fill out along the way that sent up red flags to her insurance provider that she was not going to be able to support these children in addition to the ones she already has? Don’t procedures like that have to be approved? I know women with big boobs and back problems that had difficulty just getting approval for a breast reduction.
    Now, there are websites set up so people can donate money to support the children she set out and purposely planned on having. Is she serious?
    It’s so frustrating for me (I’ve been trying to conceive for 2 years) to watch the irresponsibility. Yet, I’m not sure who to blame.

  • MelanieTM

    “Suleman, who now has 14 children, told doctors she battled with depression for years after she was injured in a riot in 1999 at the state mental hospital where she worked.

    The doctors’ reports were included in more than 300 pages of documents released to The Associated Press by the state Division of Workers’ Compensation on the same day NBC released excerpts of Suleman’s first interview since giving birth last month. Among other things, the documents reveal that Suleman collected more than $165,000 in disability payments between 2002 and 2008 for an injury she said left her in near-constant pain and helped end her marriage.”

    It does keep getting better. Don’t know if she used this money for her treatments, but what I want to take a moment to think about is being in near-constant pain and taking care of 14 children.

    No way in this world I would be able to do.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. When the story first broke I thought “Holy cow, that mom will have her hands full” but paid no further attention. Then the hate debate started and I wondered why it would be anyone’s business but the parents’. Little did I know the circumstance. Now that no one can escape the background story to this drama any longer things have come to light that are just mind boggling. But what always needs to be remembered in this whole tragedy is that there are 14 innocent children involved that did not ask to be put into this dire situation. The mother obviously lacks common sense, and it is clear, when we see her in interviews or compare photographs of her former self to the most recent ones, that there is something quite “off”, but her children are merely victims of a total lack of responsibility. It is truly sad and if anyone is to blame here it is the fertility doctor who should have taken charge of this situation because in the end it will be the kids who suffer the most.

  • nelking

    It’s not the IVF issues that bother me. This is a perfect example of the cracks in the mental health system. So many other of our biggest challenges: health, violence, poverty, homelessness, might be lessened if we had a mental health system the worked for everyone.

  • Thanks for opening this up to comments Heather. I’ve been thinking about this woman and her children a great deal in the last couple of weeks. As a woman who will likely struggle with infertility in my future (due to past medical history) I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the options that are provided for me should I chose to have children and I agree with what everyone else has said about the irresponsibility of that particular doctor and how that should not reflect upon the medical community as a whole. I think it’s amazing that there are so many options for women who, not so very long ago, would have simply given up the idea of having children.

    The point that I think the media is missing though, is the well being of those 14 children. How can it be possible for one woman to raise that many children to be upstanding members of their communities, people with values, or even just people who feel loved. I hope for those children that she manages to find a way to make them feel valued for themselves as individuals.

  • Kyle

    I’m saddened by all of this. She obviously doesn’t have the means to support 14 kids. But those kids are here and typically the best place for kids is with their mother. So now what?

    Regarding the doctor… Was the question ever asked by her doctor why a single mother of 6 with no job and no home is seeking fertility treatment? That to me would raise a big red flag about the woman’s state of mind. The whole situation is depressing b/c everyone loses.

  • Nicola

    Thank you for saying what needed to be said. You are exactly right. From the first second the news came out that she had more kids at home, I knew the interwebs would light up with drama.

    I have a very close friend with 2 year old twins concieved through IVF. They are waiting a few more years before trying for a second pregnancy because the likelihood of multiples is so high. These two people planned this out meticulously, and had to have his parents help pay for the first set. He’s a lawyer, making a pretty good chunk of change. How an unemployed woman paid for 5-6 rounds of IVF, I do not understand.

  • J. Bo

    The fertility doc in this case IS being investigated, by the way.

    (I’d contribute more to the discussion, but whenever this particular case comes up, I start foaming at the mouth and thereby discredit any reasonable point of view I might have on the subject.)

  • Liz

    As the mother of 4 children, all born singly, I cannot imagine the care and feeding of 8, much less 14. One-at-a-time times four was hard enough.

    As others have said, I think the doctor(s) who performed this procedure should be held accountable…maybe he (they?) should bear some of the financial burden to Suleman and the state.

    Suleman’s behavior absolutely should not have a bearing on the treatment of other, more sane, infertile couples.

    Does this remind anyone else of the stories of people who hoard cats and dogs? I dunno, maybe it’s kinda the same thing? Creepy.

  • Kim B.

    The situation sadly illustrates not only the need for either revisiting or enforcing medical ethics laws (that made it possible for a doctor to implant 6 embroyos in any woman) but also the need for good quality, accessible mental health care. The situation does matter, and it is our business, because Nadya Suleman’s mental health issues will greatly and negatively affect the lives of 14 very young children. It’s not just that she had octuplets or that she already had 6 kids, it’s that she now has 14 CHILDREN UNDER AGE 8!?! Even if she were a paragon of mental stability and had money out the wazoo, there is simply no way that she can provide what these poor kids will need.

  • Anonymous

    Heather – I agree with you absolutely.
    A) what was that nutjob doctor thinking(oh wait, she/he wasn’t)
    B)the media will blow this one case up into a sweeping generality to ruin a good thing for so many couples who are struggling to have their own children. which will lead to.. C)old wrinkly policitians thinking it’s up to them to decide how women should treat their own bodies.

    Having had a miscarriage and been faced with the very real fear of “oh my god, what if this is the start of worse fertility problems?”, I cannot fathom what decent, loving, childless couples are experiencing – and wondering if their situation will be made worse by a bunch of policy-making junkies.

    Unfortunately, those kids will be the ones who suffer the most – either because their mother won’t/can’t properly care for them, or “the system” will shun them for their mother’s irresponsibility and a situation they didn’t ask to be born into.

  • Anonymous

    I concur with #39’s comments. I paid between 90k and 100k this last year (and will again this year)in Federal taxes and I resent the hell out of the fact that my hard earned money is going to support the selfishness of this woman. I also donate to many charities, but that is by choice, not by being forced by the federal government to donate to this charity.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for writing that. There has been so much conversation about this and the need for stronger laws and such about fertility treatment and as I struggle through the very beginning stages of working with a reproductive endocrinologist all I can think is how the access to treatment for infertility and reproductive issues in general needs to be so much better and easier. Definitely not more limited, definitely not less acceptable, definitely not more expensive, definitely not something that’s up for judgment and discussion by anyone and everyone.

  • All women have the right to have babies…that they can responsibly take care of. Let me repeat that, “that they can responsibly take care of.” That right includes having a biological child, adopting, using medical technology or surrogacy (or any other legal means). It doesn’t matter how you get them (again legally), but whether or not you can physically, mentally, financially and emotionally take care of them…or at least have no reason to doubt that you can at the time. There is always someone who comes along and ruins a good thing…and this time it’s not only the children who will suffer.

  • I think the doctor was completely out of line, and (surprise, surprise), it’s been suggested that his main motivation for doing this was to raise his successful implantation percentage to attract more business.

    It’s very uncommon for doctors to implant that many embryos – I think the cut off point is 3, and often the doctors will advise removing one of the embryos if all three take. Multiple births are very, very risky, not just to mom but to the babies as well. This was 100% an issue with the doctor behaving inappropriately and unprofessionally, in my opinion.

    I think this woman has some issues, but I think 99% of people in the world have issues (including me and you) – not all of them are as readily apparent or highly publicized.

    I do also think that this lady invited a lot of the media frenzy. She’s set up a website to accept donations, and I’m suspicious about her agreement with the doctor and all of the reasons she decided to do this. Suspicious though I may be, I don’t *know* her motivations or what exactly makes her tick, and as such, I can’t judge her. I can judge the doctor for SURE, though. As the professional in that situation and knowing what the standard procedures are, it’s insane that anyone would have permitted that many embryos to be implanted or “not known” that mom might have an issue with removing them. I call BS on the doctor.

  • Angelia

    OMG I love you right now.. Seriously this is so how I feel. Isolated incident, the kids didn’t ask for this, and it is completely possible for this woman to care for these kids.


  • Lisa

    I am thrilled that medicine has been able to help so many couples who had difficulty conceiving. I just do not want to hear about how God blessed you with way more babies than nature intended after a medical procedure. The goal should be healthy full term babies. As medical interventions continue to be expanded it is necessary to evaluate what can be done with ethically what should be done.

  • Meg

    Mom bashing=bad. For sure, I agree. For those of us where Margaritas serve as our infertility medicine, we need to just hush about this subject.

  • Betsy

    This woman is mentally ill, of that I have no doubt. The fertility specialist who knowing implanted her with so many embryos is unethical, should be held accountable and have his license revoked. People looking to adopt a child are carefully screened and checked out before placement. These same standards should be in place for fertility treatments.

    That said, it time to move past this and figure out how best to take care of these children.

  • i’m into anyone doing whatever floats their weird little makes-no-sense-to-me boats, as long as it doesn’t affect me adversely. and if octomom was a millionaire like angelina no one would care. but she’s not a millionaire, and it will affect me (and other) taxpayers adversely, so i have to care as much as i’d rather not.

    bright spot here is that she seems to be hustling lately — tv show? book deals? — to try to make some cash for those kids. and i hope she succeeds with her endeavors so i can quit caring and focus on the important stuff, like whether angelina and jennifer aniston ran into each other at one of the oscars after parties.

  • How could she possibly afford the procedures to get pregnant in the first place if she is on public assistance of ANY sort? This doctor needs his lisence taken away. And Nadya? Needs some serious intervention by mental health professionals. By her interviews she appears terribly delusional. Her mom and dad? I don’t know why her parents supported the behavior as they are so vocal in their dissention of it now.

    The whole thing is squirrely.

    My SIL has been undergoing treatments for three years now without success. Breaks my heart. They can afford the thousands of dollars financially, but the stress and disappointment are horrible.

    Life isn’t really fair, is it?

  • You are brave opening this can of whoop-ass up.

    Seriously people….GET EDUCATED, then get over it.

    Look up the stats on the chances of 6 embryos implanting in a woman with her medical history, then look up the stats on the chances of two of them then splitting. Then go buy a lottery ticket. One of those has a HELL of a higher chance of happening.

    She wanted SEVEN children. Period. She didn’t ask for 14. Why aren’t we questioning families who live off the state’s assistance and keep popping out cross-eyed child after cross-eyed child? I’m not talking about the people who are just down and need some help, I’m talking about the lifers. Yes, she might need some assistance. But you know what? So what. I’d have made the same choice (not to selectively abort)so would I have then been judged because the universe was feeling ‘quirky’ that day and they all implanted?

    They are here. No use debating it now. She looks like a loving, caring parent who needs some counselling. There is a hell of alot worse out there. Find a new target…I think this one has had enough attention.

  • Katie

    Couple of comments here, I have undergone IVF 4 times (as well as 6 unsuccessful IUI cycles prior to that). While I understand the majority of the population has no idea what they’re talking about in regards to this topic, I think you need to get some facts straight. It’s obvious most of the comments so far are from non infertility challenged folks, and lucky for them. While I am currently pregnant, I was terrified when I heard this woman’s story and the resulting backlash about limiting, by law, the number of embryos that can be transferred (which, by the way is the correct terminology. The term “implanted” is used only after a “transferred” embryo has “implanted” into the uterus and therefore results in a pregnancy, this is something the body does on it’s own), which is the way it is in the UK. I firmly believe I would not be pregnant currently if we did not transfer the 4 embryos we did. I am 34 years old, and yes, this was a scary decision, but it was the right one. This fourth IVF cycle was our last allowed by insurance and 3 prior cycles had not worked. We are very fortunate that only one embryo implanted and not all four, but if we hadn’t transferred 4, would we have a pregnancy at all? My thing with this woman, and all cases, is that it should be decided on a case by case basis. She was obviously not infertile, she had perfectly good embryos (apparent due to all 6 implanting and two dividing) and obviously did not have a history of failed IVF. I believe these are the things that should have been considered, and that responsibility comes to her doctor. Don’t punish the rest of us for one mad woman and doctor’s poor judgement.

    Right on Heather!

  • Anonymous

    Everybody: please stop calling these children “a litter.” They are not animals. They are human beings – they’re here, deal with it.

    No matter how much we don’t like the mother’s decisions, none of our judgments about her abilities and mental faculties should be visited upon her children. Stigmatizing them as not worthy of life is very ugly.

  • I once lived “in the infertility box”, having spent thousands of dollars over several years, cried rivers of tears, and suffered two painful miscarriages. My doctor never once came to me with “let’s talk about your next step”. It was hubby and I who finally reached the end of our physical, financial and emotional rope and went to him, only to be told that we had a 5 to 15 percent chance of becoming biological parents together. In other words, if we had not spoke up, and kept going back, the heartbreak on our parts and the monies paid to him would have kept on rolling.

    We called a halt to his gravy train, and in a little over a year, became the adoptive parents to the first of our three sons, now ages 4, 2 and 1.

    Heather, you have very well outlined all of my feelings on this issue. You are right: what the doctor did was unconscionable, what the mother has undertaken is the impossible (without the assistance of someone, something, somewhere, somehow); but the kids are here and there’s no sending them back. Hating on the doctor or the mother is not going to help those kids one iota. All that aside, this situation, nor any other, calls for the regulation of any woman’s reproductive rights. Quite frankly, I don’t think (certainly hope) that no one else out there is foolish enough to copycat this case.

  • Hollie

    It may not be for us to decide, but it IS for Department of Social Services to decide whether those children should be taken and placed in to loving, capable homes.

    I’m sad for those innocent, defenseless children.

  • Ellen

    Heather, you hit the nail on the head with this one! And put into words what I couldn’t. I have felt so conflicted about this issue! While I am appalled at what the doctor did and think that his actions were irresponsible, I hope that this doesn’t cause the government to become involved in “regulating fertility.” If she had been able to conceive 14 children without medicine, I think we would still be appalled. But would people be calling for limiting the number of children women can have naturally? I pray to God not!

  • i doubt she gives a damn about what her case does for the perception of medical intervention in conception. And I doubt the media has the first clue about the feelings of people who deal with infertility, except in cases where the reporter has some personal experience of it.

    The whole case is just really quite perplexing and just makes those of us for whom ivf is a daily, painful and largely unsuccessful reality even more difficult. the number and stupidity of questions it makes people ask us, as if we didn’t get enough before, is just absurd.

    Thank you for acknowledging the plight of infertile couples. That was really nice.

  • susan

    It is a crazy situation as you said. The real focus here should be the children. These kids did not choose to be in this situation, yet they will be the ones who suffer. Any suffering she experiences is of her own doing.

    The doctor certainly holds alot of the responsibility, but legally he was allowed to NOT implant her? After they all “took” I can understand it is hard to abort any.

    Either way, I am really critical of her. She is a terrible burdon to society, but those poor kids……it is them I really feel for.

  • Cee

    Yeah, this specific woman has some serious issues, but part of being pro-choice is to recognize not just a woman’s right to abortion, but also that she can use her uterus to have as many kids as she wants. To take away her children or force sterilization or something stupid like that would be detrimental to womankind as a whole.

  • I completely agree — isolated incident that needs help, not a broken system. The people who have been helped by in vitro are many and awesome …

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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