This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.
When babies can be conceived in a laboratory at a fertility clinic, there must be stricter rules and laws than currently exist to regulate the process. The absence of such rules is why Nadya Suleman, an unemployed, single mom, now has a brood of 14 children, including eight babies born prematurely.
The birth of octuplets is a wonder and a marvel, and, so far, Ms. Suleman's children are the longest surviving octuplets in the country. But no rational person in Ms. Suleman's circumstances would willingly conceive so many children at once. To judge from the near-universal condemnation on the Internet of the 33-year-old mother, her decision was illogical and unnecessary. Some of the kinder words used to describe Ms. Suleman's self-described "obsession" with children were "ridiculous," "idiotic" and "grotesque."
The fact is, people make bad decisions about having children all the time. They do it to win a partner's affection, to feel better about themselves, to make up for a personal loss. . . you name it. However, using in-vitro fertilization to become pregnant introduces a third party into the decision process. Today's medical advances give women who have difficulty conceiving options they once could only dream of having.
With these new choices in mind, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, an association for fertility doctors, adopted guidelines last year for in-vitro fertilization. They recommend only one embryo be implanted in women under 35, and no more than two in extraordinary circumstances. Ms. Suleman said her doctor implanted six embryos, which resulted in eight babies when two of the eggs divided into twins.
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