Last Sextuplet From Family Who Refused Abortion Heads Home

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Last Sextuplet From Family Who Refused Abortion Heads Home

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 27, 2004

Granite City, IL ( — Ron and Tina Otten’s children are now all home. After making national headlines months ago for refusing to consider an abortion to enhance the odds that all six of their unborn children would be born healthy, each of the babies has been declared well enough to go home and leave the care of the hospital.

Jacob, the last of the babies receiving medical attention, was released from St. John’s Mercy Medical Center on Thursday. He had remained hospitalized for acid reflux.

"They’re beautiful," grandmother Linda Otten said of her six new grandchildren.

She and area residents are helping the Otten family move into a home that they recently renovated. The five-bedroom home is expected to be ready to house the family in two weeks.

The Ottens had three boys and three girls following fertility treatment. All were born six weeks prematurely in April.

Otten chose to go ahead with the pregnancy, even though doctors recommended abortion. The physicians used the phrase "selective reduction," a procedure in which one or more babies are aborted to improve the chances that the rest will survive and be healthy.

But the Ottens rejected the idea of ending the lives of their babies before birth.

"We asked them not to even discuss it with us again," Ron Otten told a Belleville, Illinois newspaper. "We can’t play God."

"They talked and cried over it a lot," Johnnie Reckert, Tina’s father, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. "They knew the babies were already alive. There was no way they could do that."

Dozens of doctors and nurses assisted in the birth, which observers called "amazingly calm."

In addition to Jacob, the Otten sextuplets include Madison, Tyler, Isabella, Joshua, and Rileigh. They were born prematurely on April 9.

The Otten Family Benefit Fund has been established at the Bank of Edwardsville, P.O. Box 899, Edwardsville, IL 62025.