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Eight Is (More Than) Enough

Posted on Feb 5, 2009

By Ellen Goodman

    Maybe we owe an apology to the doctors who made the birth announcement with such pride and excitement. The delivery of eight babies in five minutes was, they exhaled, “amazing.” The mom was “incredibly courageous.” All in all it was a “very exciting day,” a feat for which the 46-member medical team at the California hospital expected kudos and high-fives.

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    But instead of smiles, they saw jaws drop. Attention turned from the doctors to the mom, from her courage to her judgment, from the medical success of this delivery team to the ethical failures of fertility treatment.

    It turned out that Nadya Suleman already had six kids at home. The Suleman Fourteen don’t have a father, they have a sperm donor. They were apparently all conceived by in vitro fertilization, with the last eight presumably implanted en masse. For good measure, their mother doesn’t have a job. And her family recently filed for bankruptcy.

    Before she left the hospital, before the babies left intensive care, the whole country had gone from “gee whiz” to “are you kidding?” Everything that we don’t really want to talk about in terms of pregnancy and child rearing—marital status, money, individual choice, responsibility and technology—had converged in the shouting and blogging over Nadya Suleman’s womb mates. 

    Does anyone have a right to tell anyone else how many kids to have? Can only people who can afford them bear children? Do you need a husband to have a baby? These are questions that make us feel queasy when we are talking about old-fashioned families. But they take on a new flavor in the unregulated wild west of fertility technology.


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    Need we review exactly what’s happened since Baby Louise came out of a petri dish and reproduction became a family business? We now have tens of thousands of healthy children born every year through fertility drugs and IVF to delighted families.

    Fertility doctors don’t say no—nor should they—to single or gay patients or those who already have children. Doctors do not do home visits or psychological evaluations or socio-economic profiles on patients who want children. At most, doctors do what bioethicist Arthur Caplan calls “a wallet biopsy” to see if they can pay the bill.

    We are far more rigorous about accepting people for adoption or foster care than for fertility treatments. But shouldn’t there be limits?

    Suleman’s mother now famously describes her daughter as “obsessed with children,” and wishes that she’d chosen to be a kindergarten teacher. But it turns out that you can have six children and still be treated for “infertility.” And, here we get to the heart of this case, it turns out there are no laws in this country limiting the number of embryos that can be implanted in one womb.

    As bioethicist Lori Andrews says, “Women’s bodies are not large enough to hold a litter.” If, as we are told so far, Nadya Suleman was implanted with eight embryos left over from her earlier treatments, it is something akin to malpractice. If she wanted all eight implanted knowing she would refuse to terminate any, it’s close to mal-mothering.

    The reason why we haven’t seen Nadya’s fertility doctor on “Larry King Live” (yet) is that it’s against all guidelines to implant more than one or two embryos in a woman under 35. [Suleman is 33 years old.] Given our experience with the extraordinary high risk of multiple pregnancies for mothers and babies, anyone who endangers patients ought to lose their license.

    This is more than an individual decision. Suleman’s babies weighed between 1 pound, 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. They will cost at least $1 million in neonatal care and more if they have the typical range of disabilities for premature babies. The meter is running at the neonatal unit.

    I wish these eight little people well. I tip my hat to the delivery team for dealing with an octuplet of problems it didn’t create. If Suleman’s brand new publicist succeeds in selling her as a “smart,” “joyful” mother with a “wonderful sense of humor” who is grateful “for the miracle of life,” maybe this mother will be able to roll her degree in child development into a reality program that supports them all.

    But right now, a reproductive business that generates so much controversy has produced a remarkable consensus. Infertility treatment for an unemployed, single mother of six? Eight embryos in one womb? There must be a proper word in the medical literature to describe this achievement. I think the word is nuts.

    Ellen Goodman’s e-mail address is ellengoodman(at)

    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group

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By purplewolf, February 14, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Bluebot1938: I remember the days when sterilization of the impaired was common. As for welfare mothers,perhaps if they received no extra monies for every new baby that they made, the birth rates might not continue to explode as fast. People who work do not get a raise from their employers every time they have another baby, so why should those seeking help be rewarded by abusing a system that should be a saftey net.

Also, ask yourself why not sterilize the men who contribute to the population explosion as well? After all they can create far more babies than a woman in the same amount of time. I worked with a man who wanted 10 kids, just like his dad. So far he had 6 children with 4 different women and never married or supported any of his children either with his time or money. A fact he seemed proud of.As he said, he wanted to be just like his dad. I asked him how he felt coming up with no father or any kind of support from his father and he said he felt hurt and betrayed all the time he was growing up. So I asked him if he thought it was fair to do the same thing to the babies he made, knowing that they too now are going through what he had gone through, but he had no answers. I don’t think he ever really gave it much thought, otherwise he should have learned from his father’s neglect to him and want to be a better parent to his children.

I believe irresponsible people will never go out of style. This is unfortunate for the children, but, as my grandmother always said, little babies are very forgiving.

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By Blueboy1938, February 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Details euthanasia as well as sterilization of the disabled and mentally ill, as well as others considered to be social misfits, such as Gypsies and homosexuals, in Nazi Germany, and mentions tangentially that sterilization of mentally ill was also practiced before that in the U. S.

Please understand that I am in no way advocating this, but offer it as a cautionary tale in the face of some of the more egregious proposals that are appearing in the media suggesting “welfare mom sterilization.”

Louisiana Republican State Sen. John LaBruzzo proposed a “voluntary incentive” sterilization program for “welfare moms” back in September of last year, before Ms. Suleman was even on the radar screen.  It was based on his concept that those on welfare would eventually outnumber taxpayers, and the economy would collapse.  That position is unsupported on any factual basis, but shows the lengths to which persons in positions of political power will go to justify draconian social engineering directed at vulnerable underclass groups.  It’s not much of a stretch to extend that to other “undesirables,” as was done in Hitler’s Germany not so very long ago.

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By Leefeller, February 13, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Comparing oneself to this litter lady is uncomfortably like the republicans saying I got mine, I worked hard to get mine, and I will not share mine. Referring here to the simpleton arguments against a national medical plan, mental midgets including all of how they think which in reality requires no thought at all, just sound bite replays. 

My personal medical problems are many and varied, but comparing them to this women with her handouts and abuses is not worthy of argument.

Instead, I suggest her opportunistic leanings may have the help of several different political agendas. How about the right to life folks, this is the perfect in your face response to their opponents, the inferred right to kill folks.

Even more so, I feel the finger prints all over this may be the opponents to Nationalizing our health plan.  Is it possible the moron politicians and their cash cow insurance companies set this whole thing up as a “see what happens” story? 

If and when the topic of National Health Care comes to be discussed in the political circus,  will they trot out the Litter Lady, can you see the frenzy feed of the Mass Media like like the fish in the jungle smelling blood, they will just not get enough of her.

One could check out the political or religious leanings of the Doctor and see if he has a Swiss bank account.

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By hippy pam, February 13, 2009 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

I know families-both parents lost their jobs-health care-all benefits…They try to get help and are told there is a WAITING PERIOD in order to apply and then they only get a small amount…
  This “cash cow” gets a turkey baster stuck up her *****......Now “they” are all bowing,scraping and kissin her ass.
  She needs to WORK…...Like the rest of us!!!!!

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By purplewolf, February 13, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

Progcat: On Dateline this octomom seemed so out of it mentally no wonder 50% of her first 6 kids are on disability. She is not right now, but it was stated in the newspaper her doctor(just 1) has decided she is permanently disabled, yet she still breeds. And she thinks foodstamps is not welfare??? SSI for the kids???? What she is scamming the system for in 2 1/2 months of the take she gets for the 1st 6 kids I live on all year on my disability, and I had over 8 doctors authorize my medical disabilities. I feel if she is healthy to be a brood mare and able to tend to the first 6, she really is not disabled or not enough to collect any legitimate disability benefits.

I worked more than double shifts-which octomom claims she did. When I was severly injured by clients in a group home for the mentally challenged-much like her- but my state farmed out institution clients into a group home environment, I as well as others injured by clients, were up a creek. BTW when they took these clients and put them into the group homes, the state took all the drugs they used on them to keep them calm and less violent away, knowing that most of these people were violent. Then along comes Octomom it makes me wonder why I worked so hard to survive and end up wondering everyday how to make ends meet and this breeder, so far, is getting over $2,9—.00 with food stamps and disability a month. When her disability does get reinstated, she was cut off last summer she said, her money will go retroactive. I did miscalculate her own take, it’s $33,000.00 a year or about $2,750.00 a month for mom, on top of the almost 3K for the kids-that is 6K a month and if even half, but probably more of the litter do survive, they too will be plagued with all kinds of medical problems. Another almost $800.00 a month per kid. She could end up with $135,960.00 a year or more. At that rate she can forget about finishing college in the next year-18 months and finding a job right away and make enough money to support her family with,she won’t need to. And who would hire her with that many kids and her mental state?

And it is up to the rest of us who pay owe taxes in almost eveything we buy or property taxes to help support this clan.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like we all just got screwed? And I didn’t even get to enjoy it, did you?

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By ProgCat, February 12, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Just like I predicted, purplewolf (scroll down to see my initial post).

LOS ANGELES – A big share of the financial burden of raising Nadya Suleman’s 14 children could fall on the shoulders of California’s taxpayers.

Even before the 33-year-old single, unemployed mother gave birth to octuplets last month, she had been caring for her six other children with the help of $490 a month in food stamps, plus Social Security disability payments for three of the youngsters. The public aid will almost certainly be increased with the new additions to her family.

Also, the hospital where the octuplets are expected to spend seven to 12 weeks has requested reimbursement from Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, for care of the premature babies, according to the Los Angeles Times. The cost has not been disclosed.

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By Leefeller, February 11, 2009 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Anyone notice the add for the Seattle fertility clinic above this thread. Sort of like CEO advertising for his Christmas golden take the money and run,  above a bail out thread. Our economy is taking it in the shorts, actually we are taking it in the shorts, but do not know it yet. In the end it will all come out in the wash!

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By hippy pam, February 11, 2009 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

I see this “cash cow” has made the statement that “she will support her children with her STUDENT LOANS”.....
My nephew is PAYING FOR HIS OWN COLLEGE CLASSES-ONE PER SEMESTER-AUTO MECHANICS-......And holding down a full time job….and he has bad asthma…he also PAYS FOR HIS OWN INSURANCE…..

How about some of the do-goodie religious people stepping in and doing what is in the best interest of these children-ALL of them-ALL 14-Adopt them into loving homes where the parents can give them the individual love and medical care they need and deserve….It is a FACT that “if she spends 45 minutes with each baby-6 hours will pass”......How will she have time for the OTHER 6??

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By purplewolf, February 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Just watched Octomom’s interview on dateline. She was asked if you had her lips done. She said no, but they showed pictures of her as a baby, and several other pictures as she aged and her lips were never that over bloated and it certainly wasn’t bee stings that swelled her lips up.

Three of her first 6 kids collect disability and she has college grants, stating she is not getting disability herself at this time. She also gets food stamps, but denied that it was welfare. Well, every other state I have been in considers it a form of welfare when you collect food stamps and she has no medical insurance according to her either. Good luck with that bill for 2 months hospital bed rest and the NICU for 8 babies.

She still seems out of it as far as reality is concerned. I feel sorry for the babies, there does come a point when one has over-stretched their limit and this situation has gone above and beyond that limit.

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By Blueboy1938, February 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Actually, there are a number of things that are injected in “lip augmentation” procedures: collagen, fat from elsewhere, Restylane, and others too gruesome to mention, with costs advertised in the $300 to $5,000 range.  However, I didn’t find any mention of botox injection for lip augmentation.  Botox is generally used for small muscle immobilization to lessen frown lines and crow’s feet.  It probably would have the same effect on the lips as happens with Novocain after a dental procedure:  no mobility.  Probably not very helpful on any long term basis, as it would make food retention difficult, I should think.

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By Leefeller, February 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Looking the other way or ignoring something is very, very much like condoning in my book, though my sex toy comment may have been a bit strong, not being a Catholic I find their handling of internal abuses uncomfortably lacking.  I was referring to many different religions proclivity’s, not just the Catholics, tho they dovetail nicely with my comment.

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By hippy pam, February 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

I know couples who would love a Baby-just one-and have been trying for years with IVF to get pregnant….Both of them work…..hard….to pay the bills and keep up with all the meds etc that go along with IVF…..He works 2 jobs and pays for health insurance.She works but copes with the sick feeling she gets from the IVF meds…..

And this “CASH COW” comes along with her botox lips and gets it all for FREE…...Her IVF-hospital-house-car and all she has to do is ????
There is something Rotten in America when a “drain on society” gets “interview deals” for shafting the government and bilking hospitals along with State Treasuries out of money.

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By Blueboy1938, February 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Then Leefeller should have said “some religious,” as the Catholic Church does not advocate such abuse.  The only “religions” I am aware actually condoning child abuse and/or child marriage allegedly are the splinter groups with roots in the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), which has officially condemned these practices.

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By purplewolf, February 9, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Blueboy1938, I believe the “sex toys” comment by Leefeller was about the priests sexual abuse of minor children, mostly boys whose family were members of the churches. Alaska is now a haven where the Catholic church has sent many of their child molestering priests to work with the Native children. Which is vey, very convenient of them, as these children do not speak English, but their Native tongue. So when they are abused, it will be harder for the proper authorities to find out about it. But then again, Alaska has the highest incidents of rape in all 50 of the United States, I am certain Sarah Palin will be too busy the next few years trying to force her way into the White House to give a riff. After all, like the wolves,(native peoples consider the wolf their brother) the indigenous(native population) peoples are expendable.

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By Blueboy1938, February 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller’s comment about some religions considering children “sex toys” gives me pause.  I guess he means the recent cases in the U. S. where child abuse and child brides have allegedly been committed by some fringe sects.  The jury is still out on all that, it would seem.  I suspect that there are no major religions that condone such practices.

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By Leefeller, February 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment


Thanks for the comment and link I will use it wisely. 

You know I always wondered what a pitbull was, seems to be like everything else fuzzy, unclear and hearsay, just like the MSM alleged news, so lets make another thoughtless law. Responsibility starts in the home, like this lady with 16 babies, some people should not be allowed to own animals. Only if I were King.

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By purplewolf, February 9, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, Yes(size matters, you betcha!) education plays a very large part when it comes to family size. Those with the best educations tend to have fewer children, usually one, compared to those with a high school education or less. I did one of my college research reports on this.

I have a neighbor, raised 1 of 9 children, said his parents were poor and since they didn’t have any money, they had kids instead. Several of these children are what is considered “slow” mentally and the last has Down Syndrome. They never collected any type of assistance from the government,a rarity I know, and the kids now are in their 30’s-50’s. Yet these parents failed to maybe consider the reason they had no money was because they had all these kids in the first place? Then again, the parents were not highly educated.

This morning send their newsletters out and one of the reports,#5, was about this over population problem titled,“Dare I Speak of Over-Population and Global Warming?”

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By Leefeller, February 9, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

When does control over other peoples lives become uncomfortable enough to consider pause? Guess I am liberal on many issues, but I find this turns me into a conservative?  Population control becomes a very unconformable topic. Wait!, conservatives believe in right to life no condoms, or birth control, what a relief   no,  I guess I am not one of them. 

Seems I have this stereotype of the poorest people in the world having the most children per family unit.  Religion comes to mind, a way to recruit followers use families for recruitment into their way of unthinking, some religions even look at children as sex toys.  Poor have been known to use their large families for child labor to help feed the family, even sell their children into slavery or as child wives very mercenary way of adding to the coffers “Dickens” and familys of thieves comes to mind, which brings me even to politicians. Many would suggest this is a welfare recipients way.  A real in your face surprise, would be if all the children grew up to become fertility doctors, promoting litters.  People who have litters like this, are they able to even do the simple math of how expensive it is to raise one kid over a life time?  It gets worse as we think deeper, their are no math tests required to vote in the country.  Now, the pieces are falling into place,  the Republicans and right to life connection is behind this, now it all makes sense.

Does education have a role or connection in family size?  As events continue to unfold, we may all find ourselves considered poor, so lets all go to the fertility clinic and have litters.  In the future, Shopping cart shortages are predicted.

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By hippy pam, February 9, 2009 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

What If?.....
The state places the kids-all of them-with families that are against abortion?THEY GET KIDS-EVERYBODIES HAPPY….
The state places the kids with families that cannot conceive?THEY GET BABIES-EVERYBODIES HAPPY…

Then STERILIZE this incubator and throw her lazy ass OFF DISABILITY….MAKE HER WORK to repay all the monies she has received…

Her own mother says all she does is SPEND MONEY that she has no record of EARNING but she does not PAY ANY BILLS…[Does she “prostitute” on the side].The government should INVESTIGATE where she gets ALL HER FINANCES….

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By purplewolf, February 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

ProgCat: SSI-supplemental security income is for those who are disabled and never worked or worked very little. This woman worked in a state mental hospitallong enough to qualify and was injured when they had a riot in the woman’s ward and she was hit by a desk thrown at her. Actually it makes more sense to say she was probably a patient at that time as she has had mental problems in the past. She gets SSD social security disability and after 2 years -which she already had under her belt-she qualified for Medicare, if her income is low enough she would qualify for the equivalent of Medicaid in your state. Since it figures out to $33,000 per year(error on other amount I posted earlier)or $2,750 per month. I don’t know if she would qualify now, before the birth of this brood she probably hat to much income, but every state is different on their cut-off levels, here in Michigan she would be disqualified for Medicare as her income would be to high.

Right now, according to the news her medical disability is being investigated for the last 5 years, over 300 pages of medical documentations. From about the time she had her 2nd baby. I don’t want to be harsh, but if a person is to sick to work, they are to sick to make babies, male or female. This comments come from one who knows disabilities first hand.

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By ProgCat, February 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

purplewolf: ProgCat: It is not just California’s taxpayers supporting this troop, it is all taxpayers of this country. She has been getting disability since about 1998. In the last 5 years she has collected over $165,000.00 from social security disability, over $27,500.00 a year, a federal program, thus this is all of this countries business and tax monies going out for this.

California SSI (the long-term to permanent disability program) has some $225-245 Ca. dollars added to the total monthly payout. The approx. $550 dollars from Federal still has California dollars in it since CA only gets $0.80 cents back for every $1.00 sent to the Federal government.

Based on this, the approx. $550 Fed. dollars still has 20% of CA taxpayer dollars paying into it in addition to the CA dollars already being added on the front end by our state, so that’s why I rightly say CA is paying for this woman’s SSI, although a percentage of U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill too.

Not only that, CA has an expanded Medicare called Medi-Cal (which most likely paid for the hospital stay/birth since she is an SSI recipient), also expanding the dollar amount and services under Medicare the Federal government does not pay for.

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By marriea, February 8, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
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This woman is so very selfish.  She was depressed so she put the responsibility of her being cheerful on her children?  What a piece of work.  No doubt she will gain financially from this spectacle but the problem is how many other women will end up doing the same thing for the money. She might not have started this for the money, but the media will lavish her with that notoriety and the public will, out of concern for her kids, rush in to save her.
I wish the best for her kids, but that mom should not benefit from her gross selfishness.

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By purplewolf, February 8, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

PSmith, We used to have ethics committees at one time in all hospitals in America, but due to the insanity of the last 2 terms of the Bush White House and the fundamentalists taking over and changing all the rules that once were used with common sense and sanity which seems to only bring more life into an over crowded planet and keep the brain dead going by artificial means, so I would have to guess we no longer have ethic committees anymore.

This woman has 6 other children bringing the total to 14. No ethical doctor would have continued these fertility implantations after already having 5 prior pregnancies, including 1 set of twins in 5 years space of time prior to this last litter. And all
reports that first came out for the 1st 2 weeks stated 8 eggs were implanted not 6. This woman appeared very off mentally on the TV interview, so she cannot be taken for total truth as to the number of eggs implanted. She even said 8 at first, only after controversy did the number turn to 6.

ProgCat: It is not just California’s taxpayers supporting this troop, it is all taxpayers of this country. She has been getting disability since about 1998. In the last 5 years she has collected over $165,000.00 from social security disability, over $27,500.00 a year, a federal program, thus this is all of this countries business and tax monies going out for this.

I had not thought about plastic surgery, except for her lips. Maybe they should have put in a brain instead. And she was so sick after her 1st pregnancy and birth she had a nurse just to take care of the baby according to the news. She also has a nanny for the autistic 3 yr. old. She was separated from her husband in 2000-which appeared about 10 days after this birth-and only divorced him Dec. 2008. And according to her, a friend fathered all of these babies-why not her husband, legally as they were still married, he is on the hook for their $$$ support and the tax payers should not be stuck with this expense of supporting them also.

As for her finishing college to get her masters degree in psychology and then she will be able to make enough money to pay for all her kids. I am not betting on it. Even if she did earn her degree, would she be able to obtain employment? Earn enough to support this brood?

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By Leefeller, February 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

My apologies to women and religious people for my crass earlier post. Also I would like to apologize to cat women across the world, for the comparison is very uncalled for and inappropriate.  Lastly my comment regarding the bail out was in bad taste, so CEO’s every where please accept my humble apologies.

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By hippy pam, February 7, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

I wonder who paid for her PLASTIC SURGERY??????

And….She has enough kids to have her own terrorist cell…..

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By Catherine, February 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Heavens, this woman’s brood will just about fill up an elementary school classroom all on their own…eventually.

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By ProgCat, February 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

What struck me immediately with Suleman is the fact she’s had extensive plastic surgery to make herself into a Jolie-clone. Lips, nose, cheek implants, this woman took idolization of the celeb to the extreme, adding a huge, unnatural brood to the mix. Suleman is clearly not mentally stable.

Why on god’s green earth would any doctor worth the title implant 6 (by her account) fertilized embryos seeing right off-bat this woman needed psychiatric not fertility help? Those doctors should be arrested, tried and found guilty for medical malpractice.

Look, if she had Jolie’s resources I’d say “yeah, why not?”, but fact of the matter is, she’s doing all of this with CA taxpayer dollars (mine and my family’s) and donations while still pursuing studies at, what, 33?? And her father! I mean, it’s okay to love one’s little girl, but come on!

Ellen Goodman is SO right. This is just plain NUTS.

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By Blueboy1938, February 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Providing for the 14 will be a challenge, initially, but there may be future compensation if they all thrive:  Fielding a soccer 11 plus 3 reserves!  The Suleman Spinners?  Of course, they might have to start their own mixed-gender league.

In some Asian areas, and in fact many agricultural areas world-wide, having numerous children is even now seen as old age pension insurance.  My father’s side had many families of 10 or more, several with more than one set of twins.  He had eight brothers and sisters, some of whom I never met.  That’s not what we urbanites are used to, but it does lend some perspective.  After all, it’s only recently that childhood diseases stopped paring down the inevitable result of being sexually active without contraceptives.  Did we condemn the mother, or was it the father, for having those large families?

Do I think she should have done what she ended up doing?  No.  On the other hand, I’m not so sure I can be as certain as others that she is the one to blame.  She says, at least, that she had a different expectation, based on prior experience and only wanted one more, really.  She may have been poorly served by her medical professionals, but she appears to just be living up to her scruples, be they religious or otherwise, in not selectively aborting.

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By photoshock, February 7, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

As a society is it not enough to heap scorn on this woman?  Why do we have to?  Aren’t there enough other problems with the world than one woman choosing to have this many children?
I question the ethics of the doctors, but as far as the woman is concerned, leave her be! We fight for the right of all women’s reproductive rights and here we are bickering about a woman’s choice to have 14 children.  Time out people!  Enough scorn has been heaped upon her, let her be, she is now the mother of 14 children and is happy about this. Should we not rejoice with her the birth of her children?  I firmly believe that she has the ultimate right to do with her body as she wishes.
No other person in the world has the right to tell her what to do with her body, she is an American living in the land of the free.  Freedom is her choice to do with her body as she wishes.  No other argument is valid or acceptable.

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By purplewolf, February 7, 2009 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

After listening to this woman it is obvious she is not working with a full deck. China ‘s one child policy makes sense as they along with India have almost half of the worlds population. For those out there who think we should not limit the number of children a person has, think of the selfishness people like this mother and the Duggar family-18 kids and counting have shown. The earth has limited resources. Think of the carbon footprint these 2 groups alone will leave. Just these 2 families will use 1 teacher for just their kids per class hour(currently the Duggars are home schooled). I believe in zero population growth or as in the teaching of the Native people-take only what you need and leave the earth as you find it. Well, we cannot say that about these groups, as they will be taking up so much more than 7-9 or more “average families.” Now that is greed and ignorance at its height.

These same people-usually- force our cities, towns and states to limit the number of cats or dogs a person can own, usually 3, claiming that animals make a mess for the neighborhoods. I have 7 critters-5 cats(3 rescue) and 2 dogs and they never make a mess for my neighbors, they have their own yard and never leave it. I cannot say that about all the kids out there brought to all of us by the breeders in our neighborhoods, and probably yours too. Their kids do more damage, make more noise around the clock and vandalize peoples homes, yet we do not limit the number of children people pop out, even when they cannot afford to or are able take care of them. The answer is to make more babies and compound the problems. Just ask the right-to-lifers, fundies, Republicans and the uneducated among us. It is a messed up world where these types who claim all life is sacred and then in turn destroy healthy animals they claim are excess and keep the unhealthy humans surviving at the expense of all others. Sarah Palin comes to mind-kill the healthy polar bears, caribou, elk and wolves and their pups-which is illegal to kill wolf pups- because they might run through land that big oil wants and then let the taxpayers pay for her defective excessive progeny, baby #5-if it really is hers and not her daughters. You betcha!

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By Political Insurgent, February 7, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

So many angry comments towards this chick. I really couldn’t care less if she had 14 kids. It seems like an impossible situation to deal with obviously, but maybe she has the cojones…or boobs…or whatever, to deal with it. Essentially, this is her problem, not ours, so why are so many people angry about it? She will either be assisted by the government, or, as someone suggested, start up a TV show, and being the voyeuristic society we are, we will probably watch her go through her Herculean motherly foibles and thus fund her babies to teen-hood.

I wish her the best in her and her kids’ futures, but I hope she also presents an example to other women who decide to get that invitro procedure done on them.

Thanks so much, SCIENCE.

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By Dave in Big Pine, February 7, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

fredoms are not absolute. they come with responsibility to behave in a mannner that at the very least demonstrates a modicum of common sense and fairness. for this foolish woman to have 14 kids that she cannot support is truly a prosection of the most base sense of entitlement and selfishness. As draconion as the policy of the Chinese government to limit family size may seem to some, it is without doubt an answer to the kind of myopic, self centeredness we see on display here. these kids should be taken away from this woman, she should be precluded from having any more, and she should receive the scorn of us all. again, freedoms are not absolute.
and as for the argument that income level should not preclude family size: why not? in our society it governs everything else, so why not that. i don’t hear anyone complaining that some people live in shacks, or on the street, while others live in mansions with gold plated faucets. don’t we say that some can simply afford to while others can’t? no one argues that the poor are entitled to a comfy life just because.
in a fair world it should not matter; but we don’t live in one.

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By Catherine, February 7, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

This human incubator has certainly been a distraction for the media “cows.” Spin, spin, spin the talking heads and the “I THINK” tanks. At a time when the economy is in the pits, average families are having trouble putting food on the table, when our new president is doing his best to weather the storms of his inherited troubles, and we’re fighting wars on two fronts, this idiot comes along, has a litter of babies, and far too many of her fellow idiots say “Oh, how wonderful!  Eight babies!” LOL! Just wait…this gal will require her own landfill just to dispose of the diapers!

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By hippy pam, February 7, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

reply to purplewolf…..OCTOMOM-........You rock…I couldn’t have named her better…And-I heard she is gonna TRY to hold each of her new babies 45 minutes-MINUTES- each day????the News says that will take up {at least] 6 hours of her day….What time will she spend with the other 6???Some of which are “mentally impaired”[PC}?????

When will she find the time to FINISH her EDUCATION[which I’m sure WE are PAYING FOR]-as well as books-child care-her and the kids cloths-this hospital bill which I heard is well over ONE MILLION DOLLARS-transportation-health care-her “mentally challenged” childrens NANNY-Oh yeah-She gets WORKERS COMP for her BACK INJURY and will get MORE WORKERS COMP and STATE AID because her injury has been aggravated by this LITTER she WHELPED…

She and her family should be responsible for this…After all-she is the one who had this done-at least 7 DIFFERENT TIMES….She should have to work for the rest of her life-JUST LIKE THE REST OF US RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE-TO PAY THESE DEBTS.They are HER DEBTS…And NO ONE in the MEDIA should give her ANY INDORSEMENT….She is NOT what I want my granddaughter to aspire to…

THEY are looking into the fertility clinic and IVF doctor…now they need to file CRIMINAL CHARGES against the hospital for throwing patients out on the street when their insurance ran out…I’m hoping those people and their families come forward and TAKE THIS TO A COURT OF LAW…..

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By Leefeller, February 7, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

One of those crazy cat ladies gone wild! So much for planed parent hood.  The right to lifers must be elated.
Can you imagine if this happened to the Virgin Mary?

Is this part of the bail out?

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By purplewolf, February 6, 2009 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

And for the latest; the mother now claims they only implanted 6 fertilized eggs into her, which she called embryos and claimed 2 of those split after being implanted, making 8 babies. Wrong. Embryos do not split before or after being implanted, that happens only in early cell division. And she claims that on each pregnancy, she had 6 embryos implanted-most doctors rarely use over 2 in a woman of her age. Something just doesn’t ring true in this whole mess. I guess we all can be thankful if they really used 6 eggs each time all of them didn’t develope, can you imagine 36 kids in 7 years? 14 are bad enough in such a short period of time. No mention of 2 sets if identical twins when they were born and up until today the doctors even said they implanted 8.

And for those interested, the hospital which the octomom spent 2 months in before the birth of this litter, is the same hospital that in the last year tossed out patients who could no longer pay for their care, ran out of money or insurance declined any further coverage or if they didn’t have any insurance coverage, hospital personal put these people into taxi cabs and paid for those cabs to take the patients to skid row by the missions and dump them out on the streets, which is what happened. Many of those given the heave-ho from this hospital were mentally confused, had IV’s still left in their arms, put on the streets with no shoes and in hospital gowns(the ones with the great open air openings down the back), just to name a few incidents. So much for the Hippocratic Oath. Yep! We can see that the health care system works just fine in this country. You betcha!

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By Chip Nemo, February 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Awww, c’MON, people…  there are far more urgent things to bicker about than this ONE person who made into the headlines.  So she’s the old woman who lived in a shoe;  BFD.  Our taxes pay for FAR more heinous and outrageous stuff than a woman wanting to have children! 

Moms, not Bombs   might be the slogan.  Jeez, get a life.  The economy is IN THE TANK and going nowhere fast, and you have the temerity to spit on this woman?  The tone and rancor of these comments here are just downright Republican….


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By Blueboy1938, February 6, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Apparently, the usual flood of promotional support that multiple births engender is slow to materialize in this case.  Book deals and talk show appearances are going to have to fill that gap, it appears.  Speculation about her motivation is futile, unless by those suffering the same delusional mentality.  You can’t rationally analyze irrationality.  Plenty of people are going to buy her (ghostwritten) book to find out what she could possibly have been thinking.  Publisher makes money; bookstores make money; talk show hosts gain listeners and thus advertisers; and she can pay for the diapers and someone to change them.

That said, legislating or regulating the fertility field is fraught with definitional peril.  Who sets the limits?  To whom do they apply?  What are they?

The same questions apply to adoption for single parents, especially where sexual orientation is an issue.  If laws invalidating adoption for those folks are considered violations of privacy, wouldn’t the same criteria apply here?  Does a mother who fails to practice contraception because of religious scruples after having nine children behave unethically . . . immorally?  Where is the line drawn?  Ability to provide?  Presence of both a man and a woman, legally married to one another?  How does knocking down the limits here square with setting them up there?

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By hippy pam, February 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

reply to anna catherine…..She is on disability for a back injury…and this pregnancy has made it worse….These are her words….and she was lonely as an only child….and she loves all her children and will be able to take good care of them-just as soon as she finishes school….her statements….on the news and myway news website….
I can’t afford her either…Somehow we need to send a message that we are all tired of supporting these “welfare cows”......

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By AnnaCatherine, February 6, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I, for one can’t afford this woman. We are picking up the tab for her and her children. Sorry to seem insensitive, but she’s now shopping for a book deal. If she loved children so much she shoud have been a kindergarten teacher. By the way, what does she do for a living?

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By purplewolf, February 6, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

In todays news, this mother, while collecting disability from injuries she received while working in a mental hospital, claimed that her first pregnancy hurt her back more. So my question is if it was as bad as she claims and that she still cannot work, why did she continue to allow herself to be impregnated if she knows it will worsen her “bad injury”. She also blames this injury on the reason her husband and her a no longer married-claims legally divorced in 2008-so legally those other babies-even though she says are fathered by a friend-are her husbands in the eyes of the law and he should pay for them. Funny how it took so long for her so called marriage to be revealed-if it did ever exist.

An indepth investigation needs to be done on this woman, just to see how disabled she really is. Sounds like she has scammed this system also, while really disabled people continue to be denied.

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By kajsa, February 6, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Why isn’t anyone asking, “Who paid for her IVF in the first place?”???

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By Kris Knight, February 6, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There may be more clues coming from this mother than is realized.  The “they” to whom she is referring is not likely the taxpayer, as one commenter posited.  Who “they” are is likely someone else, someone who indeed is willing to do an experiment.  Questions I have:  who exactly chose the donor sperm?  What characteristics are they “breeding” for, as done with animals who are going for a certain kind of product from very strategic breeding.  Remember this father of hers is part of the military and military experiments on “their people” have been ongoing and defying the logic of most sane humans, and under the radar of anyone primarily feeding off MSM. 
I submit this woman is part of an experiment and has been programmed since young for her position as a breeder.  There is a category of women who are raised for this purpose but it’s usually kept very secret. 
Any chastisement and funds withholding done here seems to me completely valid, unless perhaps to remove her children from her and put them up for adoption by families that can give these children a chance of normalcy (not sure that’s going to be possible but probably better than what this home with 14 children will be providing).  Yes, the professionals who allowed/did this should be sued, but not by her, by the STATE of California.  I’d say the perversion manifested here lies with not only this woman but her health care professionals…

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By Odles of noodles, February 6, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If this woman (god forbid) has an accident and becomes unable to care for these children, WHO will take them (as a group) or will they go into many different foster homes?

With all the unwanted children in the country, this makes no sense to me, but what do I know… Maybe she’s angling for some of that bail-out money, seems one must prove they are incredibally self-absorbed to qualify for those funds.

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By hippy pam, February 6, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Sincere apologies for LOSING IT!!!

Cooler Head TODAY…..

Where is the PROUD FERTILITY CLINIC and SPERM DONOR responsible for this FIASCO????
How could this BREEDER “SOW”[apologies to mother pigs] collect WORKERS COMP for a BACK INJURY-which she states has now been FURTHER aggravated by this birth]and HAVE A NANNY-paid for with OUR TAX DOLLARS???
Who paid for her COLLEGE EDUCATION????And why wasn’t her “mental inadequacy” flagged??
Why is her family-an Iraqui army interpreter and a “traditional” wife-DECLARING BANKRUPTCY???
Why was this ALLOWED TO HAPPEN????
I know AMERICANS who need help-desperatly-...And cannot get help because there is NO MONEY…..I know young people who WANT to attend college and would benefit from it…But there is no money…..And I know expectant moms who need care and can’t get help since both they and their hubands work 2 jobs to pay the bills…

And this “sow” steps in and SUCKS THE SYSTEM FOR ALL IT’S WORTH…...

I hope Oprah and the Media see this “drain on society” for WHAT SHE IS….Obviously,she is a mentally impaired moron who sees her womb as a way for a free ride on the AMERICAN TAXPAYER….
Let’s not ALLOW HER to PROFIT from this….

And let’s find this CLINIC and DOCTOR….Their actions ARE CRIMINAL…..

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By Outraged, February 6, 2009 at 2:03 am Link to this comment

Blah, blah, blah.

This is the LEAST of our worries as a collective populous.

Do you seriously endorse your physician or ANY physician dictating what you can or cannot DO!  From what I’ve read, certainly there are many “facets” to this story.  Oprah can handle that I’m sure.  Can we move on to SERIOUS issues.

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By Still Life Living, February 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is not this woman alone.  She is just a symptom.  As a planet, we just had octuplets. Yes it was irresponsible. But now that they are here, what are we going to do? 

Living in an ocuplet world, salvation seems hopeless unless we think collectively in a way we have never allowed ourselves to think. What we do know is what went before us has failed or is in the process of failing. (If you doubt that, what would happen right now in the world if something globally tragic happened.) And since that wouldn’t be fair, we need to do something else today.

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By hippy pam, February 5, 2009 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

A nanny????This breed sow has a NANNY??For her AUTISTIC BABY????And they? put HOW MANY MILLIONS of dollars in to assisting her to WHELP???Who-EXACTLY-is PAYING FOR THIS????
And now she has hired a COMPANY to REPRESENT her and HELP HER SELL HER STORY????
WHO PAID FOR HER EDUCATION????I understand she has a college degree????
She should not get another dime from any SERVICES[how much could FIA in California have saved if they weren’t on the hook for her hospital etc…What a DRAIN.The money could have been better spent elsewhere….She should be STERILIZED and the babies should be EUTHANIZED….This is a WASTE of OUR TAX DOLLARS…..

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By levi civita, February 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The woman and her doctors should be sued for littering.

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By purplewolf, February 5, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

From medical teachings I learned long ago, a woman’s body needs 4 years to recover from just 1 pregnancy. This breeder has produced 14 children in roughly 7 3/4 years. She already has an autistic 3 year old, who has his own nanny and a set of twins age 2. The other children range from 7,6 and 5. Guess who pays for all of this?

It is also a known fact that the more babies produced from the same pregnancy, the complications are numerous and often there are permanent disabilities, leaving these victims of arrogance, greed and non-commonsense to struggle their whole lifetimes with something that was a preventable problem from the onset. These babies were delivered 9 weeks early, the average pregnancy is about 39-40 weeks. Therefore, these babies were roughly 75% developed, but not really due to the over abundance of the sheer number of them, their development might be even less than that.

The medical cost will be astronomical, not counting the 2 months this woman spent in hospital for bed rest prior to the birth of this litter. Most women and their new borns are in and out of the hospital within 24 hours and that includes c-sections.

No one in their right mind, mother and doctor(s) thought this through with the best intentions for these babies. Greed seems to be the ultimate goal for those involved in this obvious abuse of medical technology.

When questioned how this mother could afford these babies, as well as work on her masters degree in college, she told people. “They pay me to have these babies”. To all of those who have heard this flippant remark, what she means is the American taxpayers. In a world with over population, ever dwindling resources,lack of jobs, just to start with, zero population growth or a 2 child family for married couples seems a more logical goal for all concerned.

This womans mother thinks there will be no more babies as her daughter has used up all of her harvested eggs. I would not want to bet on that.

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By Little Brother, February 5, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Might as well recycle my 2¢ from a comment I made at the other day to an article mentioning that this multi-mom was being inundated with offers for books and teevee appearances. 

(BTW, another commenter objected to all of the irresponsible criticisms and assumptions about the breeder in question, asserting that it was quite possible that the multiple births were, in effect, a medical/biological fluke of unintended consequences—that this could happen to any relatively sane and normal woman trying to have one child using fertility procedures.)

I stand by my view, to wit:

A Sad and Pathetic Freak Show

It is simply beyond belief that this deranged woman should be accorded celebrity status or be sought out for her “story”. It strikes me as both rewarding and exploiting the woman’s neediness and voracity for attention.

What is the basis for my assertion that the woman pathologically hungers for attention? For starters, the fact that she’s literally manufacturing her own audience.

Gee, I hope that doesn’t come off as too judgemental.

The “story” that leaps out when one learns that the woman, after having six children, enthusiastically arranged to breed eight additional young’uns is one fit for the Guinness Book of World Records, maybe.

Or a psychopathology textbook.

It would be aberrant even if done by an independently wealthy woman—but it doesn’t help her case that her unchecked compulsion to breed is not moderated by her limited circumstances and resources.

So maybe it’s just as well that she’ll ride a bubble of lucrative celebrity, the focus of earnest clucking and prattling before a Studio Audience that genteelly masks the fact that her hosts are at bottom latter-day carnival barkers and shills, and their guest is a sideshow freak.

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By Jim Yell, February 5, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why stop at nuts, how about criminal medical malpractice—-sort of like Michael Jackson’s nose.

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By Margaret Currey, February 5, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sounds like something that Kaiser would do this Kaiser hospital is an HMO and they did this for fame and whatever experiment they wanted.

Why are there not guidelines after all six children is a burdon in itself.

So all of these 14 children will someday wonder who their father is and I for one would not read her book.  Calif. is in debt as are a lot of other states but this bill will be picked up by the taxholders because a medical bill for an unemployed person can only go a certain number of years and cannot be recouped unless this woman ownes a home and in that case if it is sold the state gets the rewards but having this many children and the children not knowing the father is will these children end up mixed up and confused.theres55

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