February 12, 2009

My two cents

I had 15 posts in my blog feeds today about the octuplets, and I only read one and a half of them before getting annoyed. So, I decided to throw in my two cents.

I think it's a mistake to treat this issue as black and white. We're dealing with human life here. Embryos. Babies.

And we can't change the past. Maybe things should or shouldn't have happened. Maybe the mom was making decisions for selfish reasons. Maybe these kids will be supported by our tax dollars (and, gasp!, by the good will and charity of people like me) for the rest of their lives.

But they're here. Which one shouldn't be? Which child was wasn't intended? Maybe their mother was acting irresponsibly by having any kids in the first place, but which child doesn't deserve his or her life? The one that might develop cerebral palsy? The one that could potentially be blind? It may sound drastic or harsh, but that's what the critics are ultimately suggesting, aren't they?

Like I said . . . lots of gray.

I know it's irritating that this mother is seemingly irresponsible and might get rewarded with money and diapers and other things that she can't afford. It sucks. But life isn't fair and she has 14 kids to take care of. So let's make sure they're taken care of . . . with grace and love, rather than judgment and condemnation. When did it become acceptable for us to judge and condemn for any reason, anyway?

I'm not saying we should ignore contributing factors to this dilemma . . . I hope that this situation brings attention to the need for regulation in the whole arena of reproductive technology . . . not just IVF. There are many embryos left from IVF patients who are done having children. Many of these people just throw the leftover embryos away. Would that have been a more responsible route? That's a different issue for a different day, I suppose.

There is one area of this whole thing that is black and white: This mom had 8 babies. 8 beautiful, miraculously healthy babies. And they're here. And they should be here. And they are acceptable, capable, lovable and desirable. And I hope that no one ever tells them anything different.

No gray area there.