The War on Choice When Life is Chosen (Eight Times)
A woman gives birth to octuplets.
That's right. Eight.
What's more, she also already had six other children.
That's right. Fourteen kids to raise.
Now, there's enough out on the internet that can tell you about the dangers women face when having multiple births, the moral or ethical implications to have this many children when our world is being pressed with overpopulation, or what it means to have double digit offspring. I don't need to hash into that.
What I do want to rant about for this Friday is the flack this woman is getting for making her choice. When doctors gaver her the option of reducing the number of embryos so to reduce the stress on her body and, naturally, life circumstances, she declined.
And in the month of Roe vs. Wade, when millions of women march and protest for Choice - with the rich context that Choice goes far beyond abortion - which stands for health, reproductive rights, and ultimately the right of each and every woman to choose, I find it sadly ironic that this woman, with her CHOICE to move forward with this rare pregnancy is thought to be possibly mentally ill or unstable.
After reports are released about her status (single), age (early to mid thirties), and financial background (recently filed bankruptcy), there are more than enough reasons to criticize and bemoan the decision to raise fourteen young children with restricted finances.
But she chose a fertility program. She chose to stay with seven and she was happy to hear she got eight. As a woman, she chose.
And if the feminist movements want to analyze her decision and talk about the ramifications of choosing this path of motherhood, I understand the need to pick the situation apart. What I don't understand is how her ability to choose is deemed wrong because she made a decision that most people would not have chosen. It's important to remember what women who came before us fought for and I'm pretty sure it was the right to choose not WHAT to choose.
While we don't know all the circumstances, we know that she exercised a right that generations before us have fought so long for: accessible healthcare, reproductive health with knowledge, and, ultimately, the choice to make decisions about our own lives.
There's something to celebrate there.
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