• If only those little Sulemans were still fetuses, someone would care

    by Debra DeAngelo

    What I want to know is: Why aren’t Pro-Lifers rushing to rescue poor Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. Octomom?

    Suleman resurfaced in the news recently, explaining why she’s posing nude for a European magazine for $10,000: Her house is in foreclosure, she and her 14 kids need a place to live, pronto, and she felt she was out of options.

    So, what words popped into your mind? Slut? Opportunist? Loser? Or did you see a story of desperation, and wonder what that feels like. Nadya Suleman knows. Do you? If not, maybe you shouldn’t judge her.

    Few of us have been forced to choose between our dignity and maternal instinct. Guess what – maternal instinct will trump dignity every time. Me, I’m not throwing stones in that glass house. I’d know I’d have done whatever it took to feed my babies – beg, borrow, steal, and yes, strip too.

    I have to wonder if Suleman went public with this story as a Hail Mary pass, hoping someone would save her. Bear in mind that besides the sheer psychological and financial stress of raising 14 children on your own, her octuplets are now 3 years old now. All of them. At once.

    Fellow mothers, wrap your brains around just that one piece: parenting eight 3-year-olds on your own. Me? I’d be in 51-50 lockup, curled into a fetal position, mumbling and drooling all over my straightjacket. Suleman deserves a humanitarian award for not driving her whole brood over a cliff and ending it all. Thankfully, she can’t. They won’t all fit in one minivan.

    Maybe you’re viewing Suleman through the harsh lens of judgment and scoffing, “She chose to have all those children — why should I have pity on her?” Well, for one thing, if we lose our ability to have pity, we start sliding back down the evolutionary ladder. Second, Suleman didn’t exactly choose to have eight babies. She was only trying to have one in-vitro baby. Trouble is, in the process, eight eggs were fertilized. Suleman later explained that she saw each one as a human life and was unable to choose which ones to kill.

    How about you? Could you play God and point to the fetuses and say, “This one lives – this one dies”? Suleman couldn’t. She’s the epitome of everything the Pro-Lifers profess. She should be their poster child. The Pro-Lifers should be falling all over themselves to help her out after her noble choice to keep her babies. But all they’ve offered is apathy at best and scorn at worst. Not only did the Pro-Life camp turn a deaf ear to Suleman’s pleas for help, her own friends betrayed her too.

    Last week, Suleman was in the news again, this time for alleged child neglect. Her house-call hairdresser, who she considered a friend, turned her in to Child Protective Services after witnessing dirty, grungy, barefoot 3-year-olds walking around in T-shirts and being “forced” to use training potties in the backyard because the plumbing was out.

    A couple things:

    One: dirty, grungy barefoot toddlers in T-shirts? Is there another kind?

    Two: “forcing” a toddler to use a potty, or anything else for that matter?

    All the Moms in the room know that there’s only one answer for both questions: peals of raucous laughter.

    And another thing: Using training potties when the plumbing is out is different than using them when the plumbing is working… how?

    The whistleblower also told TMZ, which surely paid her for the story, that Suleman paid $520 for a Brazilian blowout haircut, despite claims she must pose nude to pay her rent. The woman left out a few details, however: the bill was for three haircuts for Suleman, not one, probably costing at least $50 each, and haircuts for all 14 children. That’s a lotta haircuts.

    And some of you are sniffing, “If she’s so destitute, she should have taken the kids to Supercuts.”

    Right. All 14 of them, sitting in Supercuts, waiting half an hour to get into the stylist’s chair. For just the first kid. Imagine sitting in a hair salon with 14 cranky children, most of whom are toddlers. And – they’re someone else’s. Who do you suppose would become homicidally violent first: Mom, the hairstylist, or the other customers? Supercuts probably locked the doors when they saw her coming. No wonder she had to have someone come to her house.

    As for the neglect allegations, CPS determined that a smudged-up toddler in a T-shirt using a training potty didn’t raise any red flags, not even times eight, and Suleman’s name was cleared. Even so, she was defending herself to the news anchors again, meanwhile, we sit watching the super-fertile circus freak in shock and disgust, tsk-tsking over our morning coffee.

    Did you notice that Suleman seems breathy, spacey and a bit unstable when she speaks? She’s singlehandedly raising 14 kids under the microscope of National Enquirer paparazzi. You’d be unstable too. What if this unstable, stressed-out, financially desperate woman finally snapped, and drowned all her children like that woman in Texas? Will we just shake our heads as we watch the tragedy unfold on the evening news, and sigh, “It’s it a shame someone didn’t do something to prevent it,” and then point the remote at the TV and watch Seinfeld reruns?


    It’s time for the Pro-Lifers to walk the talk, and assist this mother who chose not to end her unplanned pregnancies. Suleman is crying out for help and hearing only the echo of her own voice in return. If only all those little Sulemans were still fetuses. Maybe the Pro-Lifers would still consider them “human life.” Maybe they’d still care. Ah, but that’s the catch. The Pro-Life camp isn’t interested in life after the umbilical cord is cut.

    I have news for you, Pro-Lifers: If life begins at conception, it sure as hell doesn’t end at birth.

    • Hear, hear!
      I spent the last decade working with foster kids. Do you think conservatives gave one dime to these kids? These are the unwanted lives- the pregnancies their mothers didn’t want, and now they are living in institutions with hundreds of other unwanted kids and I never saw a dime from any Christian or conservative organization. I got money for my programs mostly from the music industry and individual donors.
      This has always been my gripe- conservatives want life protected, but then when the kids become a burden on the system- welfare, foster care, health care- they cut the funding.
      Pisses me off to no end.

      I appreciate your compassion toward Sulemon. I don’t know why we as a society turn so vicious against certain women.

    • Amen, Hollye! I am dumbfounded by the Pro Life hypocrisy, and the Republican hypocrisy as well. The same ones who are so vocal about being Pro Life are the same ones who want to cut off welfare “handouts” to the single mothers who choose to keep their babies. Makes me furious!!!

      Thank you, Hollye. More people need to get outraged! And yes, society is vicious against certain women. The Duggars are held up as celebrities, while Suleman keeps getting dragged through the mud. In both cases, these women are having far too many children, in both cases, they are using celebrity to support them.


      • Carolyn Wyler

      • April 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm
      • Reply

      Excellent point Debra. I probably was one of those that would be judging her wondering why she had 14 kids in the first place, but that would make me a pretty big hypocrite as I myself ended up with 4 of my own children combined with my husbands 5. I was talking to one of my friends and co-workers who is very right wing and was shocked that she was against the government paying for contraception (she felt if someone had sex and ended getting pregnant because they couldn’t afford contraceptive, that they probably really wanted a baby and it was that persons responsibility to take care of that child). I asked her what about if they couldn’t afford the child and she didn’t have a good answer for that. If you’re pro life it should be pre-natal, after birth and until death.

    • I have a couple of thoughts on this. The Duggers are totally self sufficient. They home school all their children., built their own house, have no debt, buy used clothing etc and before the show gave them any money they walked their walk. Totally different case. They had income and could support all of their children and clearly do. As they each grow up they take responsibility very seriously and do help so many families through their church so they can’t be placed in the same category. I follow the Duggers as I am amazed at how they do it all. Of course I have issues with their not encouraging college for any of their children but none have rebelled so until that happens it just amazes me.
      Now to Sulomen. She was going to school and never managed to finish her shit before having her 6 kids. She was living with her Mom and her dad basically was supporting her and his ex-wife (her Mom). She is mentally unstable and has never acknowledged she needs medical help. For a person who wanted to be a social/worker’therapist she is clueless (that being another issue) and instead of taking responsibility she had 8 more which shecould never afford or support. She thought she would become rich off of them and when that didn’t happen she has done, nothing to secure their future. She has been given free advice from every expert from Oprah to Suze Orman as to how to cope and manage and get a plan. She continues to have no plan. Sad to say but this is not the kids issues. The state has to help out and they are with $2000 a month in welfare. food stamps etc. Nadia is bright and must learn first to accept responsibility for these kids and then work to change things. Her house is in foreclosure after a friend of the family helped her buy it and she never paid a dime to him to make it her own. She stopped paying the mortgage and now he loses as well. He was a good Samaritan who tried to help. She is now on her own for the first time ever with no nanny’s or her Mom who also has given up as well as her dad who works most of his job outside the USA. Also, the hairdresser who she trusted went there with a deal from one of the papers and was paid before she walked in the door knowing she had a story to make money off Suloman. The situation is very sad and I feel for the kids but in this case she has been given great help and great advise and refuses to find a path that she will accept. She is still trying to seek fame. Even Kate Gosselin is now working and trying to also feed her family of 8. Reality shows can only lead you so far and then you must accept responsibility for your own actions. I see the state stepping in eventually more in Suloman as she is unstable and needs more than money to settle her issues, in my opinion.
      Lastly, I agree with your concept about right to lifers and Republicans but counting on anyone to help you is not reality these days. If social democrats ruled the world it would be a better place for everyone. I am a big believer in helping those that are capable of knowing what to do or organizations that are willing to help, but in the end, Nadia needs to take charge of her life as these kids deserve so much better and much less press and drama. There are no easy answers.

    • Madge – if everyone focused on what was best for the kids… there’s the answer

      • Brian

      • May 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm
      • Reply

      Besides rape “unplanned pregnancy” doesn’t exist, and if it doesn’t exist than is there really a victim here. If you choose to have sex, you risk getting pregnant. Blunt but true.

      But besides that, I agree, pro-life should refocus to include from conception to death. That point is well taken.

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