Should Government Step In To Women's Reproductive Decisions: The Case of Nayda Suleman

As I came across this picture today, I almost felt a tear at my eye. This poor little boy is not just crying, he is bawling. Pictures can only tell us certain things, he could have fallen and hurt himself but the mother seems to be posing for this shot. Her lips are pursed and even under the dark glasses I sense a smirk.

Everyone has had an opinion on Nayda Suleman or "Octo-Mom." The news media has hounded the mother of fourteen ever since the news of her pregnancy was publicized. Everyone wants to understand how a woman would allow herself to become pregnant again after her sixth child and to top it off, she is a single mother. Did she believe her Brad Pitt was waiting in the wings? I want to understand how the states can allow this to continue?

I was an only child and wished for a larger family but to continually impregnant myself without the means to support the children, that is entirely different. I ponder, should the states take a more active role in women's reproductive health when it comes to multiple pregnancies without a source of income or a partner? There are laws on when a woman can decide to take a surgical route to prevent future pregnancies, but none that would protect the state itself from a woman who continually gets pregnant without a form of income other than what is drawn from the state itself. Most states require a woman to be at least 30 before a physican will allow a tubal ligation, a permanet form of female sterilization, to be done. There are circumstances that allow a women to be younger in age if multiple pregnancies already exist.

She must have known of ways to feed her children's bellies. WIC and food stamps must play a role. She is unmarried so she can receive benefits from the state she resides in. Her children must be enrolled in a state funded health care program. So she seems to be taking care of their basic needs of food, shelter and health care but what is this woman showing us? How can one woman care for these children and provide for them? How can the state allow her to raise these children and what do the taxpayers of her state think of her behavior?

This behavior is a question of how the U.S. government cares for those who cannot care for themselves. I'm not speaking of the children, I'm speaking of Nayda Suleman.

Photo Credit: Jason Mitchell/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic