Friday, February 13, 2009

Choice vs. Right to Life

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," operating between political correctness and blasphemy since 2005! Today we're going to chime in on a minor scandal rather than tackling the big, broad, damaging future awaiting most Americans.

The scandal is that one woman had eight babies. Eight eggs were implanted into her womb, and they all took and grew. Now this woman has 14 children under the age of seven, many with disabilities.

Okay, all of you out there who advocate the right to choose. This woman is a lunatic, but it was her choice to do this. And she should have a say, however bizarre it is, over her body.

However, now that those children are born, they too have rights as full human beings. Living in a two-bedroom house does not, in my opinion, serve their rights to dignity and health. Now they are people, and someone has to look out for them.

The "someone" is the state of California. If I ran that state's department of child welfare, I would assign a social worker to be all over that situation, all the time. Daily, weekly spot checks to see that all the disabled children were being properly cared for. To see the level of hygiene practiced inside and outside the home. I would measure and weigh, open the cupboards and see what food is inside, examine the bathroom.

No way would those adults be found competent to care for that many children.

A cousin of mine had a premature baby who weighed one pound at birth. No one thought the child would live, but she did -- and her life has been fraught with difficulties, including many, many operations. She lives in a wheelchair, nearly blind. But she has her full mental faculties, so her basic life is decent. However, her parents have exerted themselves incredibly for 20 years to help the girl and keep her alive. Now multiply that by eight. Wonder Woman couldn't do it.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" support the right to choose. Once the choice is made and the child is born, we advocate humane and thorough care for that child.

What puzzles us here at "The Gods Are Bored" is why nobody in the Right to Life movement has stepped forward to give this enthusiastic lunatic mama every penny of the financial support she needs -- and a trained staff to care for the disabled children. Isn't that what Right to Lifers are supposed to do in situations like this?


Celestite said...

I think that you would find that most of the most vocal 'Right to Life' advocates, who scream that there is a caring, loving adoptive home for every unwanted child, don't do much adopting either ...or social work.

THE Michael said...

No, NO, you don't understand......Right to Lifers want you to be born, no matter HOW you were concieved, no matter HOW bleak your future might be, and once you ARE born, you are on your own, baby! AND, if you come begging for social services after the fact, well, that's just socialism, and we can't have any of that, now can we?

As long as we have religious, conservative neighbors, you are damn straight I will defend my right to bear arms.........

Anonymous said...

This situation makes me sad... The woman is in way way way over her head! Her Mother is most likely the one who will feel this burden. I watched the interview with Ann Curry and this woman is delusional and has some sort of disorder to need all these babies to validate her life. I just saw that she set up a web site to accept donations now. I can't wrap my head around this...

Great blog by the way! Found you through She who seeks.

Laura said...

If only those Right to Lifers really cared about everyone, not just unborn babies. I mean if they really care about all life, wouldn't they also be against war? Yet how many Right to Lifers are there in gov't. who say we should destroy all those who are against us? It just doesn't make sense to me how they can have such split personalities.

greer said...

Um, cuz she's sorta "brown"?

Lisa said...


being in Australia, we have different laws governing ivf and all that reproductive stuff.

If this women is the fruit cake it seems, how did she ever get approval for the program in the first place?

If her personal socio/ economic situation is low (with respect) then again, how did she get approval?

Is there any laws regarding how many embryo's can be 'replanted' as such ?

I have been watching this story with interest across the seas, and my questions are many.

'Right to life' is ok, but surely 'right to quality life' is more appropriate.

thanks Anne
Lisa xx

Maeve said...

As a woman, I find this particular case hard to sort out.

What pisses me off is that her attitude is just "oh, I want babies. I have faith that a way will magically appear to pay for their needs."

So basically, she gave no one a choice at all about supporting her & her kids. We all are stuck footing the bill.

However, I think she's mentally ill, and that her doctor took total advantage of that to make a lot of money by doing all these treatments for her. 6 IVF pregnancies. After the first couple, when she was obviously still single and still living at home and still not financially comfortable, the guy continued helping her get pregnant. You'd think after she had 6 kids, and what was it, 2 or 3 of them with disabilities, that he'd say "no, I won't do any more". But he didn't. He took her big disability payment check money and stuffed her full of embryos. I don't think we can judge her too harshly in all this. Any reputable clinic would never have let this happen.

Women still have a long way to go to be seen and treated as humans.

democommie said...

The woman is obviously suffering from some sort of derangement. That said, she should probably be on Norplant or some other sort of birth control (I'm not recommending sterilization) so that she won't simply get pregnant again.

The doctor who did the implants should be forced to surrender his license to practice medicine and his assets should be seized--yes, I am a heartless bastard.

Rick Loftus, M.D. said...

As a medical professional, I wanted to comment. Most of us MDs who first heard about this story assumed the woman obtained a *medication*, perhaps by internet, to attain this multiple birth. It never occurred to any of us that a medical doctor would *deliberately* impant that many embryos into a woman--national guidelines (not laws, Lisa, we have none in the US on this, although you can bet some will probably be passed in California after this disaster) suggest no more than 2-3 embryos per attempt. It appears per media reports that the doc in this case had a crummy "take" rate for his implantations and so increased his success rate by doubling or tripling the number of embryos implanted. That's risky, since you can get excessive pregnancies.

If this woman had stated ahead of time that selective termination of extra pregnancies was something she'd never allow (and something the poor Kaiser docs who inherited her case begged her to allow, to avoid the dangers of delivering so many small babies), the choice by her fertility doc to allow more than 2-3 embryos was simply reckless. I'd bet dollars to donuts this doc's license is going bye-bye, ultimately, and deservedly so.

This kind of technology is hugely expensive. How does an unemployed woman on disability get the cash for IVF treatment? There's still a LOT of unanswered questions about this case. But the IVF doc was acting without regard to repercussions, which is unethical.

My litmus test for most questions like this is: The people who bear the costs of a decision, should be the ones to make the decision. In this case, the moment this lady went on SSI and food stamps to support her already too-big family, she should have lost the right to more children--because she's already depending on OTHER PEOPLE (that's all of us) to pay for them. I didn't sign up for that. Like most MDs my age, I have hundreds of thousands of dollars of training debts and I can barely afford to keep my pet fish alive, much less a child--and I sure don't expect society to support my personal decision to have a pet. If I can't afford my life choices, I can't have them.

Ann, you are right--this lady's babies are going to have involvement of the state like white on rice, and she deserves that. She lost the option to keep the state out of her home when she started using other people to support her family's cost of living. (And while she insists she's not on welfare, last time I checked, that's what SSI and food stamps were. If she thinks she's not going to cost the state millions of dollars in social program costs, she's delusional.)

And like you, I do wish the babies, and the young lady, well.

tshsmom said...

I've been saying the exact same thing ever since this travesty came to light!

I don't see how Child Welfare could EVER let her take those babies home!

Pom said...

Unfortunately the right to choose in this country does extend to the delusional and the selfish. The fact of the matter is that even if this idiot physician had not performed the IVF, she would have gone to another doctor and yet another and another until she got what she wanted. She was determined - got what she wanted - and now many will suffer. It's unfortunate, sad, disturbing and frustrating.

The number of rooms do not concern me as much as the reality of raising these children and the large number of special needs as a result of this whole ordeal.

IVF costs at minimum $12,000 to start and 6 children was enough for anyone (or several families for that matter). But waiting for the pro-lifers to do anything about it... well that will never happen until these chidren (the healthy ones) are old enough to place a gun in their hands and go to war.

I see her story and just sit here shaking my head in overwhelmed befuddlement.

(word verification: eoros. Nearly Eros but with letters flipped around could have been "oreos" - a delight I do not partake of as I'm the only person in the country who doesn't seem to like them!)

Buzzardbilly said...

I think right-to-lifers are much like Cindy Anthony--willing to force a young person to keep an unwanted child but unwilling to do a thing to save the unwanted child from the inevitable tragedy of neglect, abuse, or worse at the hands of a parent who never wanted a child and see it as a burden and competitor for family attention.

My two cents, ugly as they are.

yellowdog granny said... did she afford it.
2. why did the dr. do it?
3. the dr. should lose his license.
4. all 14 of those kids should be taken away from her
5. she should be fixed just like some female dog.
6. she needs a lot of mental care.
7. if they give her a reality show? im going to find them and kick they're ass.

Athana said...

The mother, Nadya Suleman, could be Muslim. Her parents came from Iraq.

Muslims and Christians both are big on making women think they have to churn out babies by the bazillion -- or they're Big Fat Zeros (Allah and Jehovah aren't two gods -- they're one god -- the god of Abraham).

Personally, I don't think Suleman's to blame. I think it's the anal-rententive Abrahamaic god her family probably follows that's to blame.

Athana said...

Looks like this woman Nadya Suleman might be Muslim. Her father came from Iraq. Fundie Christian and Muslim women get their heads crammed from birth with nasty notions about how they're only baby-production machines and not much else. So maybe it's more her religion to blame than anything else.