The Age trumpets “fears” of an “IVF overload”:
‘Socially infertile’ may cause IVF overload
DOCTORS fear fertility clinics will struggle to cope with a surge in demand and patients could face lengthy delays in treatment as hundreds of single women and lesbians seek IVF following changes to Victorian legislation.
Specialists expect that about 1000 women previously excluded from IVF because they were considered ”socially infertile” will access treatment each year following a change to the law on January 1. This will take the number of women seeking treatment in Victoria each year to about 7000, stretching facilities to their limit and putting more pressure on the state’s dwindling supply of donor sperm.
I hate that term – “socially infertile”, as if someone who wants to become a parent so badly that they’re prepared to undergo the trauma of IVF has to justify why. It’s like the old debate on whether being gay is “genetic” or “chosen” – why on Earth does it matter? The point is that it’s not wrong, and that no-one should be discriminated against because of it. Same with those who, for whatever reason, cannot become parents without the aid of a particular medical treatment – they’re not going to apply for it unless they need it, are they? The reason is “I want to become a parent and can’t do so without this medical treatment”. It’s not a cosmetic procedure people are choosing to undergo because it sounds like fun, now, is it?
It still makes no sense to me that IVF is only partly and inconsistently covered by Medicare – particularly in a country where we’re paying a “baby bonus” to parents who are lucky enough to be able to have a child by relying on only non-IVF medical assistance.
Sod police checks for these prospective parents – those who are willing to go through the trials of IVF are pretty much by definition committed to being parents. They haven’t accidentally gotten pregnant when they didn’t expect it. They’ve had to seriously work at becoming parents. If ordinary parents aren’t being forced to undergo police checks before being “allowed” to continue with a pregnancy, nor should IVF applicants.
So what if there are more Australians who want to become parents, putting a “strain” on the inadequate system – isn’t the former something we’re trying to encourage, and shouldn’t the latter be something we put some effort into fixing?