The breeders strike again

Proposed changes to legislation governing IVF.

Two separate issues for me here. First off, hurrah that the law will now finally acknowledge that a pair of testicles attached to one parent does not govern the ability to have a family. The notion of mum, dad and sprogs has long since been outdated, and while it might be ideal according to whatever research you read, the reality is that plenty of two-parent families don’t stay that way, and surely the love and ability to provide for the child is what should be paramount.

I don’t really care one way or the other about being able to choose the sex of the baby, only that I can’t see how it matters. I suppose I’d feel that raising a boy would be easier, and it appeals to me more than having a girl. But since I’m in no mood to procreate, it couldn’t matter less right now.

My real issue is IVF on the NHS. Can someone tell me when this ‘right’ to having children was established? Why, in an organisation as strapped as the NHS so clearly is, are we offering a service that can only be described as elective at best? There has to be some sort of hierarchy here, surely? Personally I’d argue that if biology or lifestyle render you unable to conceive naturally, it’s not a medical necessity that you receive treatment for it. As a gay woman I am mortified at the thought of taking money on the NHS to play Russian Roulette with my ova and uterus, when that money could so easily be better spent.

It’s not rooted in cruelty (as so many of my views are!), I can appreciate that wanting children desperately and yet not being able to have them must be a difficult pill to swallow. But if you are so overflowing with love, so eager to provide a loving home and raise a child (or children) well, then why not consider other routes? And yes, I’m talking about adoption. When so many children still go without a stable home or anyone to recognise as parents, how can we condone the expensive ‘creation’ of more babies? The state looking after these children who need to be adopted takes its toll on the taxpayers too, but that’s a different issue, more one of collective responsibility.

Don’t you stop and think at some point that an inability to conceive is perhaps some way of keeping things in line? That there’s a natural explanation for it?

And ok, if IVF must continue to exist as a practice, why should it be free? Surely the ability to raise children is in part financial? If you can’t afford a trip to the pez dispenser ova inserting people, then can you afford to raise a child? Shouldn’t there be an element of wanting it badly enough, of not entering into it lightly?


2 responses to “The breeders strike again

  1. “Don’t you stop and think at some point that an inability to conceive is perhaps some way of keeping things in line? That there’s a natural explanation for it?”

    Isn’t the logic of this that infertility is natural therefore we shouldn’t interfere with it?

    If we accept this idea shouldn’t we also be saying things like “disease is nature’s way of ensuring survival of the fittest so lets stop researching cures and giving innoculations” and so on?

    Surely the unique feature of Mankind is that we try to rise above Nature rather than being subject to it!

  2. Nicky

    Yesterday’s reports about the FHS’s recommendations for guidelines for who should recieve IVF on the NHS got me thinking about this (and I stumbled across your entry today.. coincidence..).

    ITV Lunchtime news had a discussion on it, where a “woman’s right” to have a child was mentioned.

    I’m not totally sure there is such thing as a “right” to have a child. There is the biological opportunity, yes… but a right to actually give birth? Do people get “vetted” for IVF as they do for adoption?….

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