Posted by: Patrice Fitzgerald | February 11, 2009

Mega Mommy – Octuplets’ Mother Nadya Suleman

It’s very clear that Nadya Suleman is not a well woman.  From her artificially inflated womb to her artificially inflated lips, (Angelina Jolie-inspired, it appears), and all the way to her Crayola colored website — now conveniently accepting donations via your major credit card or PayPal — she is a figure of cartoon-like dimension, the kind of character tossed up by American culture on a regular basis for examination and excoriation.

If a writer of fiction had invented a woman, unmarried and unemployed, who had 6 kids via in vitro fertilization (3 already with special needs), and posited that she would give birth to 8 more, we would find her unbelievable.  The fact that she exists makes her only slightly less so.  

Nadya Suleman has become at once the slate upon which we can write of our collective dismay about irresponsible reproduction, welfare abuse, medical ethics, maternal folly, and plain old weirdness.  Can anyone seriously argue that these particular 8 babies needed to come into the world?

But — as I object to the state telling us when we must have the children we have conceived, I object to letting the state tell us when we must not.

There are a lot of people who really don’t have the resources to raise kids in a way many of us think appropriate.  But the ability to reproduce is so fundamental to human rights, I don’t feel that we can tell a poor woman she can’t have a child.  

And then, do I get to tell her how many?  Clearly, this is too many.  And yet, who gets to decide?   Six is okay, but 7 is not?  If you are wealthy, and, say, Mormon or an orthodox Jew, 8 or 12 or even 14 is okay, but if you are on welfare, 2 is too many?  I am wary of the government getting into such decisions. They already tell us what we can do with our bodies too much for my taste.

If nothing else, the case of Nadya Suleman will force us to examine the practices surrounding the conception (does the word even apply?) and birth of her little octuplets, and perhaps come up with guidelines to avoid such a situation in the future.  

In the meantime, I wish this family every possible grace.  They will need that, and more.


  1. i dont think this is about anyone telling a woman how many kids she should or should not have… i think this should be about encouraging women to make healthy choices in how many children they choose to bear. i fault the medical people involved and i think the doctor who impregnated her should bear the burden of raising the children.

  2. That’s it! Paternity cases for doctors. If it can be proven that he impregnated her, he has to take responsibility for the kids.

    Apparently, this same doctor treated a mother of three in her late 40’s, who wanted to have one more child with her new, younger husband. She is now carrying something like 5 fetuses… reluctantly.

    How can there be no regulation for this? No guidelines at all?

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