Published January 14, 2015
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The world was marveling over the birth of octuplets. Now that's eight babies born at once in Southern California last week, but now it seems that the marveling's been replace with questions about the mother's past and her ability to bring up 8 children on top of the six she already has.
Our own Ainsley Earhardt is here to put all of us in perspective tonight — Ainsley.
AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, thanks, Sean.
Tonight, we are breaking down a story that has been in the headlines, as you know, for the past couple of days. It starts with Nadya Suleman of Whittier, California, she became the second woman in America to ever give birth to eight babies at the same time.
It took a team of 46 doctors and nurses to deliver six boys and two girls just a week ago. Already, though, questions are being raised about how this single mother will be able to handle this and how it all happened.
Get this. She's 33 years old. She's divorced. She's unemployed and she currently lives with her parents in a modest three-bedroom home. But most shockingly, she already had six kids, bringing the new total to 14 children, all of whom she had through in vitro fertilization.
Besides the legal and ethical issues about letting a single, unemployed mother of six have in vitro, the question becomes who will pay for all of this? So we're going to break it all down for you. Take a look.
As you can see, the cost of delivering babies varies, but these babies were all born by Caesarean, C-section, two months premature. And they will all need intensive neonatal care, which, of course, as you know, is very expensive.
Plus, doctors don't know how long the babies will have to stay in the neonatal unit, but they estimate about two months.
Now, even using conservative estimates, that brings the grand total for the hospital delivery and stay to more than $1 million. That's before they even leave the hospital.
Then after that, of course, the costs will continue to add up. Take a look at these numbers. For the first year alone, based on a single mother making under $45,000 a year raising eight infants, putting a roof over these babies' head is going to cost close to $30,000.
Car seats, transportation, you add another 10,000.
And of course, she's going to need help with those babysitters and nannies: $8,000.
Now, based on my own research, diapers alone are going to cost $7,000 a year.
So to calculate all of this, we used the Department of Agriculture's cost of raising a child calculator. Now remember, these are conservative numbers. The official total comes to $70,000. That's for the first year. But then you add in all the incidentals. Maybe a child needs some extra health care. And I can see that that number is going to get bigger and bigger.
And finally, these children are going to grow up and, of course, get older. So I did the math, and it will cost almost $200,000 to raise just one of these octuplets until adolescence. Multiply that by 8, and it's $1.5 million. Keep in mind, this woman doesn't even have any money.
Now again, factor in the incidentals like car insurance for eight teenage drivers, and you're going to be getting into the $2 million mark. And we haven't even factored in college yet.
So the question, Sean, with a single, unemployed mother, is there any other conclusion this family of 15 will be supported by you and me and every other hard-working American watching your program tonight? Not to mention, is this even fair to the kids?
HANNITY: Ainsley, what an incredible report. Thank you so much.
And Dr. Robi Ludwig is with us tonight.
You know, I'm libertarian. I don't want to get into people's personal business. But every American now is going to have to contribute to pay for this.
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOLOGIST: Right.
HANNITY: Let's talk about the ethics.
LUDWIG: Unless she marries wealthy. Let's cross our fingers and hope.
HANNITY: She's — well, she's living at home in a three-bedroom house. Fourteen kids?
LUDWIG: And this is deliberate.
HANNITY: That's the question here.
LUDWIG: It's intentional.
HANNITY: It wasn't an accidental, quote, pregnancy. And she had eight children here.
LUDWIG: You know, so the question is did she have any psychological testing? Because it's not routinized. And certainly, you can have criteria where you can say, you know, if you're not married we'd like you to have — you know, we'd like to advise you to really rethink this. Or if you already have six kids, maybe you...
HANNITY: I sense you're being a little too nice here: "We maybe should rethink this." How about, be responsible? How about don't force every American taxpayer to raise your children? I'm raising my own children.
LUDWIG: I'm sure she's not — I'm sure she's not thinking that way.
HANNITY: But why?
LUDWIG: And also, I don't think a physician would say that. Why? Because she's thinking about herself, like most people think about themselves. She's probably thinking, "I've always wanted to be a mother. I'll be a good mother. I want to feel loved." She might be addicted to having children.
HANNITY: Is that — is that irrational? Whoa, whoa. What do you mean addicted to having children?
LUDWIG: Well, I mean, people are addicted to different things, and maybe she feels the more children she has, the more lovable she'll be or the more connected she'll be. We don't know what's going through her mind.
HANNITY: At what point — addicted to having children. At what point do we say, "You know what? You're being really, really selfish. You're only thinking about yourself"?
And the people that helped her were aiding and abetting in this process. Do they...
LUDWIG: Enabling. I mean, you bring up the...
LUDWIG: I don't know — I don't know how — if a doctor would be like, "You're being selfish. I'm going to have to pay for your babies."
HANNITY: Would you do this?
LUDWIG: You know what? Would I do it, myself?
HANNITY: If you were a doctor, ethically, would you help this woman accomplish this goal, knowing she has six kids?
LUDWIG: I would — I would seriously advise her against it.
HANNITY: And she says, "I want to do it anyway."
LUDWIG: Well, then — you can't tell somebody what to do. You can point out where she'll have difficulties. You can point out the down side. If she's psychotic, then you could, "Listen, you're not in your right mind and you need some corrective therapy."
HANNITY: Let me ask this. And by the way, I'm very pro-life, and I am against abortion. And I want these kids to live.
HANNITY: But when you get involved at this point, I think every American, if they're going to make a decision about bringing children into this world, you have to have some basic level of possibility that you are going to be able to raise these children, or it's irresponsible to have them.
LUDWIG: I agree with you. But we also live in a country that's filled with hope and lots of stories where people come from difficult backgrounds and do great. So we don't know what this woman is telling herself, and we don't know the fate of these children.
Listen, it's not good, probably. It's going to be a difficult road. But no doctor can say — and that's an ethical decision. No doctor can say, "You absolutely can't do this."
HANNITY: You know what? I would.
LUDWIG: It's not a clinic.
HANNITY: Wait a minute. If I was a doctor and I knew she had six kids, lived in a three-bedroom house that she doesn't own and her parents house, and doesn't have a job, I would not contribute to this. Because it gets to the point that it's impossible to raise the kids in this environment.
LUDWIG: But then she finds — there are clinics that would say, "No, we're not going to do this." But she could have been the type of woman who would have found the clinic that said yes. And that's my guess, that she was intent on this.
HANNITY: Dr. Robi, boy, you're tough. I've going to let liberal — all the liberals that love these things, let them pay for it.
LUDWIG: Oh, sure. Make me liberal.
HANNITY: Good to see you, Doctor. Thank you very much.
And Ainsley, thank you for your report tonight.
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