Let’s Talk About the “Suleman Eight”

I’m a little irritated by outrage over Nadya Suleman,
the California woman who had octuplets.
So, maybe if I write for a few minutes, it will become
clearer exactly why the furor bugs me.

I don’t dispute the Obvious Conclusions drawn
by Everyone Out There.
Of course! it’s ridiculous to have eight babies at once,
still crazier for someone who isn’t married, and
weirder still if you already have six kids.
And, yes, the mom might have a screw loose,
or be seeking attention, who knows?
Furthermore, the doctor did indeed
take a big foolish risk.

So, okay. We all agree.
Ms. Suleman showed bad judgment by seeking fertility
treatment, given her circumstances and
the large brood she already had.
The doctor showed bad judgment by accepting her as
a patient and by implanting so many embryos.

But . . . what?
Well, for one thing, on any given day a zillion people
use bad judgment regarding choice of mate, timing of
child-bearing, family planning or lack thereof,
marriage, divorce, family size, child-rearing, and every
other aspect of family life.
Every single day some folks have kids without having
a spouse, and other people marry the wrong person,
leave perfectly good spouses, and still more people
decide not to have kids or to have more children, even
though it’s the wrong decision for them to make.
Every single day some folks bribe children with candy,
others allow too much TV, or hit their kids, or they’re too
strict or not strict enough, or whatever.

Most of the zillion daily instances of bad judgment
never require Official Action, but when bad judgment
crosses certain agreed-upon lines, then the Law or
Social Service may intervene.

Other than that, why is it anyone’s business?
Wait!
I hear a voice saying “it’s our business because it’s
going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money!”
Nonsense.
Of course children in an impoverished family
will use more tax-supported services than children in a
middle class household. But – these eight don’t use up
any more tax dollars than eight kids dispersed among
three or four poor unmarried mothers.

Plus, since when is “costing taxpayers money” enough to
make someone else’s mistakes into my business?
Cigarette smokers cost us all more money than these babies
ever will, and what about tax money spent on
injuries and illnesses that are traceable to alcoholism,
addiction, obesity, riding motorcycles, etc.?

Don’t get me wrong – If Nadya Suleman were my daughter
or sister, I would have stronglyadvised her against having
octuplets. But, being as she’s a total stranger, I guess I don’t
think it’s our business.
I think We All should just Back Off and Butt Out.

Besides, am I the only one anywhere who is kind of curious
about them? Nadya is pretty – I bet the octuplets will be
cute! And what if, against all the odds, she makes something
of her life and is able to raise them? I mean, I know it was
a dumb thing to do, but it’s done now and it’s not the babies’
fault, is it? Here they are – Welcome to the World, babies!

One response to “Let’s Talk About the “Suleman Eight”

  1. Well said!

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