Where’s the dignity of new life in this story? Where’s the dignity of motherhood and of the family? Surveying the media carnage, there doesn’t seem to be a shred of dignity left to anyone involved with this story. We have an impoverished, multiparous, single mother with a baby-fetish, in an impoverished extended family, who meets up with an irresponsible fertility doctor willing to implant more embryos than can ordinarily safely develop or be carried to term. If you think about the scenario a bit more deeply, it is not difficult to conclude that once law and society allow human conception to take place in a retail setting, outside of an intimate marital relationship, and thus vulnerable to the tender mercies of the “laws” of the market and of fallible human desires, it’s not at all surprising that mothers and their children so conceived would be treated as legitimate objects of public commentary, scrutiny and even scorn. Decisions about how many children to have, whether to bear them serially or all at once, how to conceive them, who will be the daddy, and whether or not to get married first, all become like “preferences,” any of which can be acted upon legally, and each of which might alternatively appeal to or disgust different onlookers.
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