I think that's roughly 100% unlikely to happen, and one only has to take a look at the annual pimping of the Duggar clan to figure out why. The outcry surrounding Suleman has not, as far as I've heard, even mentioned estimated eventual resource usage by her and her kids. The problem is that, already saddled with six kids, three of whom were receiving state disability payments, having squandered a six-figure settlement from her last job, and mooching off her parents, Suleman thought it'd be a grand idea to hit the IVF pipe again.
That doesn't mean that resource awareness doesn't deserve a broader level of discussion here, seeing as how the US comprises about 5% of the world's population and consumes 25% of its dwindling resources. It just means that since Suleman is already synonymous in the public mind with "addled welfare queen", shifting gears to a comprehensive resource management policy is not going to happen from that jumping-off point. If anything, it just gives more rhetorical ammunition to those folks who assume that every poor person is a lazy grifter, turning into another "end welfare" argument, a non-starter given the amount of people who had perfectly good jobs this time last year. So it's a wash.
Every American politician instinctively knows, just as he knows to praise Jeebus at every opportunity, never to talk about resource problems in anything but the broadest rhetorical strokes, and always, always bookended with homilies about how unacceptable it would be to have any conditions whatsoever placed upon our entitlements. This has been consistent from Clinton to Bush to Obama. It is not a partisan issue; it is an issue of an economy that is mostly predicated on convincing people to spend money they don't have on shit they don't really want or need. That jig is pretty much up.
If we were adults, we would already have been having this conversation about sustainability initiatives and transitional/resilient communities and such, and there would have been proactive measures taken in those directions. Instead, those areas of study and activity are populated entirely by self-selecting people who have already figured it out for themselves. It's already in progress, and the people lagging behind are just going to have to accept what they already know, perhaps by checking their pocketbooks.
And it's been the media's role to stoke the outrage, not to inform anybody of anything useful. I mean, we are talking about the same media that has spent a good chunk of the last two days replaying 911 tapes concerning a marauding chimp. Are they really the people we're expecting to "extrapolate future energy footprints"?
Don't get me wrong -- I'm in on being pissed at what Suleman has done. She's been unbelievably irresponsible, and seems to regard her own family and the rest of society as crutches to pony up and support whatever her underlying issues are. Supposedly her antics have cost upward of a million bucks by now, plus apparently blowing her settlement on magic beans and egg implantations. It's fucking bullshit.
But by all news accounts, she did not freely plan to have octuplets. No reputable fertility specialist (admittedly, a dubious category at best) would deliberately do something like that, which would seriously endanger the mother and children. The fertility doc, who sounds like the Dr. Nick Riviera of the test-tube baby biz, implanted her with six eggs, two of which then each split into twins. Six is still way too many, especially for someone who already has six kids she can't afford. But it's not "freely planning for octuplets" either. The guy should have his license revoked permanently, and maybe some regulatory legislation is in order for limiting the number of implanted eggs to two, maybe three.
I do think that people who plan on these super-sized families are idiots, and irresponsible, but I also think there are better ways than resorting to coercive personal measures to curtail over-reproduction. There are plenty of non-invasive incentives and disincentives to try first -- changing tax and entitlement benefits after a certain number, encouraging the financial empowerment of women, not leaving the commodification of life up to greedy quacks....there are a lot of possibilities there, merely the lack of political will, the instinctive cringing around religious fanatics who think they're building an ark or outbreeding Mooslims or something. Coupled with the empty ethics of the hardcore medical capitalist, driven merely to push the limits of technology and reap the rewards, you have a problem.
Rather than projecting statistically ludicrous estimates of each of Suleman's children having 14 children of their own, and each of them having 14 children, and every one of them living to 78 years of age, it would be more sensible to look at the numbers that are there, to remember that the problems of inequity and disparity directly contribute to high reproductive levels, and are still more a function of access and distribution than actual scarcity. The reason many of these arguments get ignored, if not outright rejected -- despite their bases in empirical reality -- is that too often the debaters get caught up in these Paul Ehrlich scaremongering hypotheses, when all people need to do is look at the facts.