Tessa Savicki, 35, went into labor with her ninth child not knowing it would be her last. She arrived at the hospital and gave birth to her now three year-old son, Manuel Flores. He was born a healthy baby in December of 2006. Before giving birth, Savicki advised physicians that she would like to have an IUD implanted, her choice of birth control. Savicki awoke later on only to find out that she had not received the birth control she had asked for; she received a permanent sterilization.
The woman, now suing the hospital, multiple physicians and nurses, is claiming that she had never signed a consent allowing the hospital to perform the tubal ligation. According to Massachusetts state law, a patient-signed release is to accompany any requests for a tubal ligation for a period of thirty days prior to the procedure.
According to Savicki, there couldn’t have been a more cut-and-dry request to have an IUD implanted. Tessa states that she had brought the IUD in with her (a little unorthodox as far as I’m aware, but okay) on the day her Cesarean was scheduled and handed the device, in its unopened box, to the attending nurse. Savicki states that the IUD was to be implanted immediately after the birth of her child but had received a permanent form of sterilization instead.
The woman currently has nine children and has custody of four. Three are of legal age and on their own and the other two children not counted for are in the custody of Savicki’s mother. All of the children, admittedly, are by several different men. Savicki is on SSI and public assistance and claims that the general public has, and will, discriminate against her and judge her for many (if not all) of these factors. Savicki states that although her life began at an unexpectedly-fast pace, it has evened out over the past ten years. Tessa states she is now in a stable relationship with her fiance of many years. This man is also father to the children that do live with them in their home.
When I first read this story, I automatically jumped to the conclusion of “sucks for you, but you’re a welfare queen anyway and don’t need any more children than you already have, okay, Octo-Mom?” It probably sounds heartless, I know, and I challenge all of you to ask yourselves honestly whether or not you initially came to the same conclusion; many of you probably did, too. After really digesting the woman’s story and brief background history, I’ve taken an entirely different stance.
Assuming that the woman’s lawsuit pans out to be proven legit, I kind of feel bad for her. Not because Old Mother Hubbard who had like, forty kids or something couldn’t have her forty-first child — but because this is a woman, like many of us, who has had her rights stripped from her. Whether it was a reproductive right in her case or a right to vote in another woman’s case or even a woman’s right to stand up for what she believes in. In any and all cases, it’s completely uncool and I honestly feel for this woman.