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30 January 2009 @ 10:11 am
Octuplets Mum 'Already Has Six'  
Article here.

Why are we not allowed to have frank, honest discussions about pregnancy in this country? Neither the pro-life nor the pro-choice crowd would dare to criticize this woman - one because she has autonomous control over her own body, and the other because she decided not to terminate any of the embryos.

But what about the initial decision to undergo fertility treatments at all, when she already had six children? Where is the discussion about the implications of fertility treatments on the health of the woman and the health of the children in the case of multiple births? Where is the honest discussion about the medically responsible decision to tell this woman that, no, it is not a good idea to undergo fertility treatments except in the most extreme conditions, and those conditions are not met by someone who already has six children.

Why are we so selfish when it comes to having 'our own' children? Believe it or not, I see this as the flip side of the coin that tells us it is okay to terminate an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. The highest ethical priority is given to the desires of the parent, not to the health or well-being of the child.
mary_goodnight on January 30th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
No pro choicers probably are criticizing this woman, believe me.

It's not selfish to have "our own" children it's more selfish to want someone elses newborn when you can't have your own.

If they had the money for fertility treatments and could already afford six kids they might be able to afford the second eight (they didn't say how many of the six were her husbands there might have been a remarriage). It was really more reckless of the doctors of try and implant so many embryos.

But honestly without more details you can't criticize this woman at all. She didn't mean to have eight kids, but she felt to strongly to terminate. If the doctors had only implanted one or two embryos she wouldn't have even had to make that decision.

Anyway there are plenty of Catholic and Evangelical families with upward of twelve kids and they manage pretty well.
mary_goodnight on January 30th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
oops, that should say No, pro choicers probably are criticizing this woman.

the comma makes all the diffrence there.
tegdohtegdoh on January 30th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that this is not an IVF case, but rather the woman was on fertility drugs that caused multiple ovulations. And I'm concerned more with the health implications to the children (and the mother) than the financial aspect. It seems to me that the doctors had an ethical responsibility to refuse the procedure in this case.

If I may ask, why do you think it is "selfish" to adopt? There are women who, for one reason or another, cannot parent a child. What is the solution for those children, if not adoption?

mary_goodnight on January 30th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
You are not entitled to a child. Some people just can't have them. I'm pregnant and a student right now I feel very targeted for adoption. The industry is more about giving children to couples than giving a child a home. My child has a home. with me. But every doctors appointment I go to, every time I go to the CPC the bombard me with adoption info or ask if I'm keeping my baby because I'm single.

I didn't realize being single made you a bad parent. If I couldn't parent this child I would give it up, but I'd want to seek out this information on my own not have it thrown at me because there isn't a ring on my finger.
tegdohtegdoh on January 31st, 2009 01:00 am (UTC)
Of course being single doesn't make you a bad parent. And I'm sorry your experience has been so negative, especially with your doctors, who should know better! Unfortunately adoption in this country has become an industry, and all too often it is about the money rather than trying to help the mother.
Goodbye My Boygoodbyemyboy on January 30th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
The two main opinions I see going around the pro-choice camp about things like this are "we shouldn't ever try to limit someone else's reproductive choices, because that could lead to others limiting our reproductive choices" and "I can think she has the right to do this and still say it's stupid."
halethhaleth on January 30th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
I've seen some - maybe a lot - of "people should have to have a license/pass a test/have a high IQ before they are allowed to have children." I suppose if someone gets pregnant who doesn't meet their criteria, they'd be forced to abort?
Goodbye My Boygoodbyemyboy on January 31st, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
I see a lot of people throwing that around as a "joke" (yeah, I don't think eugenics is funny even if you don't really mean it, but w/e) but thankfully I've encountered very few people who are actually serious about it.
Goodbye My Boygoodbyemyboy on January 31st, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Haha
And I see one person out of all the comments there suggesting it, which is exactly my point.
In any other world, you could tell the differenceanyother_world on January 30th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
I have to agree with a lot of this. For me, being pro-life isn't just about preserving the life of fetuses, but rather about reproductive responsibility in general--which means, essentially, making every child a wanted child, in a very, very different way than the pro-choice movement uses it. And not just wanted, but also able-to-be-adequately-cared for. This means better sex education and family planning/reproductive health care for everyone, which would greatly reduce the number of unplanned (and therefore many times unwanted) pregnancies, and making adoption easier and a more viable option for infertile couples (meaning these so-called 'unwanted' children would have a better shot at a home).

Cases like this, to me, strike me as potentially not very responsible reproduction. I mean, sure, it's always possible that a couple with that many children knows exactly what they're getting themselves into, and will care for each and every one of them as well as any good parent. But there's also the possibility that they got caught up in "omgbbq want moar babies" without really thinking about the logistics of it.

Personally, I don't really agree with using fertility treatments to have children--what's the point? People seem so hung up on having biological children, as if 'someone else's' aren't good enough. I definitely agree with people being "selfish whe it comes to having '[their] own' children." There are countless children here and abroad who have no real parents and no permanent home, but so many couples can't stand the idea of their child not having 'Mommy's eyes and Daddy's nose' or whatever that they're going to pay thousands and thousands of dollars just to make yet ANOTHER child.

Of course, there's not much more that can be done except to encourage adoption, and, as I said, make it an easier process for prospective parents. I just wish sometimes people would change their attitudes about biological vs. adopted children.

Apologizing for my ranting in advance!
tegdohtegdoh on January 31st, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
Preventing unwanted pregnancies is of course the best option. But when the unexpected happens, I think we both need to make adoption more acceptable and give women the support they need if they choose to parent.

The biggest problem in my mind is that pregnancy is treated like a disability in this country, instead of a natural part of life.
In any other world, you could tell the differenceanyother_world on January 31st, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh, my goodness, of course! Yes, I am all in favor of more and better programs to support women who do choose to parent their unplanned children. Of course, this is the best, simplest, and easiest solution to an unplanned pregnancy. I was just referring in my original comment to children who are not just unplanned by the parents, but also, after a good deal of deliberation, are un'wanted', for whatever reason.
.pseudofire on January 31st, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
The thing that I don't understand about cases like this is that these women refuse to "selectively abort" any of their children, but the concern over embryos being destroyed and/or not implanting is always missing.

Personally I feel this woman should have been happy with six kids. I have one child, and if I were to discover I am now infertile I would accept it and not go the medical route in order to have another child. I cannot get past the fact that embryos are destroyed. I have also heard of some cases where the woman's eggs were not used to create embryos--that she had been told hers were used but weren't because the doctor wanted to use some leftovers that had proven successful in the past. So despite the pain and the cost, some individuals still didn't get their own bio children through fertility treatments.
amazonelf78amazonelf78 on February 4th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
john and kate were only trying to have one more kid after the twins, but ended up with sextuplets. their goal wasn't to have so many. the duggars can afford all of their kids due to thriftiness and other financial things. this women is just i dunno. big fmilies are fine, but not like that. i'm not saying she should've aborted though. but she should've had a therapist or someone talk to here about her need to have a bunch more babies on top of the six little ones she has. i find it interesting how my pro-choice (unfortunately) boyfriend on the one had thinks the duggars are weird for being religious with so many kids but will also defend this woman's right to do what she did regardless of the situation. "this isn't china!" ummm no duh! it's not, but common sense would say that something's off about a woman continually getting fertility treatments when her finances are not up to par. from what i was just reading this morning, she and her family live in a 3 bedroom house that isn't exactly up to code. there is no one there to cover finances. how the hell did she cover the treatments?!