Eight is More than Enough

Mar 4, 2009 8:57am

The story of the California octuplets got more than its share of play, and raised more than its share of hackles — especially when it came to light that the mother had gone to a fertility specialist to have multiple embryos implanted in her womb.  In Georgia, State Senator Ralph T. Hudgens and two co-sponsors have introduced a bill to make it illegal for a fertility doctor to do what happened in California.  The mother, Nadya Suleman, had a doctor implant six embryos in her uterus; all came to term, with two producing twins. Ms. Suleman already had six children, as you’ll recall, so she’s up to fourteen.  She cannot pay their medical bills, and there is a website soliciting donations for the babies’ care. Mr. Hudgens’ bill in Georgia is Senate Bill 169, and the text is HERE.  Section 19-7-67(a) reads: "Where a woman under age 40 is to receive treatment using her own eggs or embryos created using her own eggs, whether fresh or previously cryopreserved, at the time of transfer no person or entity shall transfer more than two embryos in any treatment cycle, regardless of the procedure used."  If a woman is over 40, and therefore stands a lower chance of a successful pregnancy in a given month, the bill raises the limit to three implanted embryos. The Athens Banner-Herald, which covers Sen. Hudgens’ district, says he has long taken a stance against abortion on demand, and also objects to the burden the eight newborns, with their high medical bills (up to $1.3 million), are placing on society. "The taxpayers are going to have to pay for them," Hudgens is quoted as saying.  So…a complicated question.  A government may carry the burden of caring for all those children.  Should a government limit the technology that made the birth of those children possible? (2006 picture of Nadya Suleman at a fertility clinic.  KTLA photo via AP.)

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