My blog continues to get more hits from people Googling things like “I hate Kate Gosselin SO much” and “Kate Gosselin crazy bitch” than from anything else, and as a result, a post I wrote last year called Hate Kate continues to garner comments. The most recent one sarcastically quotes one of my comments on that post. I wrote last August:
Ah, yes, the Nanny State. Let’s do outlaw implanting more than 2 or 3 embryos. Let’s do make it impossible for anyone but the very rich to have children with the aid of fertility treatments. Obviously these “litters” are causing such terrible problems.
To which a sarcastic reader calling him/herself TCH now replies triumphantly:
I guess back when you posted that you NEVER would have imagined 8 months later some whack job in CA would have 14 embryo’s [sic, corrected to “babies” in a subsequent comment] on the states [sic] tab. Who would have thought you [sic] sarcastic comment would be so, so……moot?
No, not funny at all, actually. I’m not burning with shame over making such a stupid comment. On the contrary, I stand by that comment. Just because one “whack job” has octuplets does not mean that the entire field of reproductive medicine ought to be brought under the control of the Federal Government. Ms. Suleman is one woman. There are over 4,000,000 babies born in the United States each year, and according to this website, 1% of them (that’s more than 40,000*) are born as a result of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Two of my closest friends have children who were conceived by IVF, and another underwent multiple IVF attempts but never had a child. One of these friends had four embryos implanted on her second IVF attempt (her first, also with multiple embryos, resulted in failure) and conceived twins; one twin died in utero, and she has one child today. I’m not sure how many embryos my other friend had implanted, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just one, and both of her children were single births. Nadya Suleman herself, I understand, had multiple embryos implanted in her previous pregnancies, most of which resulted in single births as well.
The fact is, most in vitro attempts fail, and most that result in the birth of a single baby were the result of implanting multiple embryos. Occasionally, a “litter” does occur, it’s true. But are we going to deny millions of childless couples the right to procreate because of this? Many of the people screaming for Nanny State action on the fertility front don’t in fact know much about reproductive medicine. They see Dr. Phil pontificating about Nadya Suleman on TV, pound their fist self-righteously on the coffee table and say, “By God, we can’t let this happen again!”
Well, actually, we can. This is the United States of America, and despite the best efforts of certain people in Washington and elsewhere, people who think they know what’s best for the rest of us, it’s still a more or less free country. If keeping it that way means that once in a blue moon some unwed welfare mother is going to have a litter, well, I can live with that.