First surviving set of octuplets born in the US; this headline was drowned out by the controversy surrounding their mother, Nadya Suleman now a scorned household name. She has been called irresponsible, mentally unstable, having a total of fourteen children, including eight making news. Public outrage goes all the way to the hospital that delivered them. Unlike all the other multiple births to make headlines, things got so bad this woman received death threats. The judgment being this woman has no husband, is unemployed, is mooching off of her parents and that she already had six children. However Nadya Suleman is being targeted for wanting children; what makes this so unfair is this isn’t the first case of multiples. What makes this hypocritical is the unrealistic expectations. Many were horrified this woman had six other children. But the McCaughey’s already had one child when they underwent more fertility treatment, the Gosselins, of the series “John and Kate Plus Eight,” already had twins when they became pregnant again; at which time, John was unemployed. This woman set out to have ONE more child NOT eight more; Ms. Suleman had prior treatments implanting up to eight embryos that resulted in, at most, twins. Given her history, it was unlikely all would become babies; two embryos split into twins. Backlash even came to fertility medicine; the California state medical board investigated whether the standard of care was violated when the doctor preformed the procedure on a woman in her situation. While the hospital being portrayed as somehow negligent, aided in delivery not the fertility treatments. Others have sited violation of 1990 regulations governing the number of embryos implanted.
Yet after 1990 come all the stories of multiple births. It is puritanical values gone awry. If these children where born in the “natural” way, nothing would be said. Yet Nayda’s sanity was questioned because she cites pangs as an only child as reason for wanting a large family. While in contrast, a family was celebrated in TV Guide the title: “And baby makes 18,” but because this was done by fertility treatments octo-mom, as she is known, is demonized. Because she doesn’t have a husband, she is viewed as less than couples parenting multiples, even using the same donor for all the children. Specialists have said that selective reduction should have been used. Selective reduction is a sanitized term for abortion, often viewed as murder; with a pregnancy of eight what do you reduce that to, two, three? We support a woman’s right to choose; why are we not supporting this woman’s right to choose life? Even more egregious is realizing all other famous cases of multiples were accepted, respected, applauded for not using selective reduction.
The media played a key role portraying Nayda Suleman as this bizarre baby-making factory twisting her words, making everyone assume the welfare system, taxpayers will be responsible for these kids. Questions were brought about whether she lied in her NBC interview saying she was not on welfare yet she receives over $400 in food stamps and payments for 3 disabled children. Only to discover that during said interview she was on pain medication she stopped taking after viewing it and her behavior; Ms Suleman disclosed being in pain but feeling she had to address public perception. America socially strong-armed a woman who had just given birth into going on TV pleading for what was given freely to others, so she can live in peace while she is under the influence of prescribed medication. Many people don’t consider food stamps welfare. And SSI (supplemental security income) payments aren’t welfare but payments made to those eligible to provide for their needs, of which the social security administration found her eligible. The same is true regarding the workers compensation settlement that paid for the fertility treatments; again, it was granted to her. This woman appears determined to make her dependence on assistance temporary. She isn’t popping out children to get assistance. Experts remark these kids potentially racked up between 7,000 and 1 million dollars in hospital bills; that same amount is used for one child born addicted to drugs. We don’t deny them; however, because of their mother, we were ready to with these children.
Claims she did this for book deals are inaccurate; she was offered them, as the other families were, participating in endorsements, photo ops to help raise their kids; the Gosselins reality show was to correct misconceptions about their lives. America also has amnesia raging Nayda Suleman set up a website to collect donations; however donation collections were set up and willingly given to the Dilley’s, McCaughey’s and the Gosselins, including custom built homes, food, bottles, diapers, formula and clothing through their preschool years. During her installments with Dr. Phil Nayada informs America her mother owned the home she was in but was not living there, not as caregiver for her children. It raises questions about the mother’s frantic wonderings about how she would to deal with it. Nayda’s father appears on Oprah, paints himself and Nayda’s mother as sole financial providers for Nayda and now 14 kids. However, she quickly said no referencing nannies she has always had helping her. One wonders about the parent’s motives.
America cries outrage about the money for this woman and her children while bailing out big bank, big auto, and home mortgages. Everyone shouts how horrible Nayda is for creating this situation, but what about the money for the publicist to deal with the media? What about death threats that required security, a safe house, because of the behavior of media, the public? The reason she is such target is because Americans are board. It is been there, seen it, what’s on ESPN? The sad thing, if it wasn’t for Dr. Phil reminding us of her humanity and ours, these kids would be hopeless. It isn’t shame on Nayda Suleman for her behavior; it’s shame on America for ours.