IVF should be banned for women over the age of 40.
Wow – there it is. What a call. What a controversial statement.
What a kick in the guts for anyone with that blinding, aching, empty need for a baby or who is emotionally and mentally exhausted from the strain of IVF.
But the call has been made now, in the UK at least, for IVF to be formally unavailable for women once they are past their “natural child-bearing years”.
It’s come off the back of a survey, which shows that almost three-quarters of people said they did not think women should receive IVF to help them conceive beyond their natural childbearing years.
One-quarter believe women should stop trying to bring babies into the world past the age of 40. They feel that the age of 43 should be the cut-off for men.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they thought children born to women aged 50 to 55 were negatively affected by having an older mother. This figure rose to 73 per cent of over-50s surveyed. Some 52 per cent said women who are 50 can not be a good parent for a child through to adulthood.
Is it selfish to want kids after the age of 40? Yes, it is. But surely it’s selfish as well to want kids at any age. Look at the reasons any of us want children:
To fulfill my life. To have someone to love. To continue my family name. As an expression of the love my partner and I feel for each other. Because I always wanted to have kids.
In my book? They’re all pretty selfish reasons. But that doesn’t make them wrong either. So rather than sinking into judgement and confusion and value-laden statements, let’s focus on facts.
And the facts are:
1. Despite the media hype, despite the incessant parade of celebrity after celebrity falling pregnant after the age of 40 – IVF is an incredibly tough process.