There is an old saying in the legal community: "hard cases make bad law", but maybe that saying should be changed to "easy cases make worse law". From time to time we hear about incidents so bizarre, absurd or ludicrous that their stupidity seems to cry out for government intervention. Such easy cases make really horrible laws. The case of the Octo-mom - the bizarre single mother, who after having six children gave birth to octuplets, by means of in-vitro fertilization. Listen, there is something plainly wrong with that woman, but you wouldn't see me writing about such tabloid fare if not for an even more preposterous person: Georgia State Senator Ralph Hudgens, who recently introduced a bill to regulate the number of embryos that may be implanted into a woman's womb. Seriously?
That's what I call completely bogus legislation. The esteemed senator - and I use esteemed in loosest sense of the word - seems to think that there is a serious issue here that merits strict regulation. How many times, Mr. Senator, have we run into a problem of this nature that you decided that a law must be placed on the books to eliminate this public nuisance? Regulation is not free. It has a carrying cost. Government should not inflate the law books for the questionable benefit of preventing a rare and bizarre case. Does such questionable benefit justify replacing the judgement of medical professionals and their patients who desperately want to have a child? If something is wrong with the Octo-mom, we have such perfectly adequate institutions as child protective services and mental institutions. A law is most certainly not needed, just as one was not needed and was morally abhorrent in the case of Terry Schiavo.
Of course in this specific case, I suspect that state senator Hudgens is riding the octo-mom horse to push a pro-life agenda. And that's the other thing that's bad about easy cases: it gives special interest groups a red-herring by which to further their pre-existing agenda. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that copy cat laws and regulations will now pop-up all over the country. Who can resist the lure of such easy cases?
Our self righteous legislators and government officials should mind their own business. Their role as legislators gives them no moral advantage or additional intelligence to make people's decisions for them. 'Nuff said.