I’ve given my views on abortion here often enough. I’m not keen on it but I’m even less keen on the idea of telling other people what they can do with their own bodies, and doubly so when it comes to people without a uterus deciding what those with a uterus can do with it. But I’ve just read something that makes me wonder if there are times when a woman should be told in very clear terms that she can’t have an abortion. Like maybe when she wants to terminate a pregnancy from IVF treatment that she used to get pregnant in the first place.
DOZENS of young women are having abortions on the NHS after expensive IVF treatment because they have changed their minds about becoming a mother.
This is so mind boggling that I’m really struggling for something to say. We’re not talking about a pregnancy resulting from a casual shag in the nightclub toilets. We’re not even talking about an unplanned pregnancy in a long term relationship. We’re talking about pregnancies that require medical intervention, so if anything they’re planned and intended to a greater extent than normal. How the hell can a woman want a child so much that she’s prepared to go on various hormonal drugs, have the resulting extra eggs harvested (ladies, this apparently involves needles in intimate areas), and a selection of the fertilised ones reinserted later (this apparently involves a catheter which is very unlikely to bring flowers or respect you in the morning)* yet be prepared to write it all off later because things aren’t quite how she thought they’d be?
Some terminate pregnancies after splitting from their husband or boyfriend, others because they were pressured into starting a family.
Seriously? Okay, I can see something in that last one. I’m sure some women are expected to just produce offspring on demand and they might not really want to. Fair enough, though stopping the process before the actual pregnancy stage would be ideal. But just because they’ve split up with the hubby or boyfriend? Christ, if things are that rocky is it really a good idea to even begin IVF treatment in the first place?**
I can’t help but feel that part of the problem is that these pregnancies, even after all the extra trouble and effort that has been made to begin them, aren’t as highly valued as they might be. Would this be anything to do with the fact that it was all free? Yes, of course the NHS isn’t actually free in a real sense, but it’s hard to remember that when you simply rock up to the doctor and get seen without putting your hand in your pocket. You know it’s not free because a combination of tax and the ever increasing national debt are paying for it, but it feels like it’s free.
So what if IVF treatment wasn’t available on the NHS (I checked and apparently it is providing certain criteria – pretty broad criteria, I felt – are met)? I don’t know how much two or three cycles of IVF would set someone back but I can’t help feeling it would be high enough that casual abortion of any resulting pregnancies would be a very rare thing indeed. Failing that, or perhaps as well as that, what if terminating a healthy IVF pregnancy wasn’t ‘free’? Yes, the cost of raising a child will always be far more and it might not make that much difference to the numbers that are aborted later, but if nothing else it would mean the cost goes only to the person concerned. It doesn’t sound like terminating healthy IVF pregnancies is particularly common, so charging for the abortion wouldn’t affect the majority of women who wouldn’t dream of aborting the baby that they wanted badly enough to go and have IVF in the first place. But it might make others think a little harder about how much they really want that child.
I think that, as with so many things in Britain (and elsewhere***), it comes back to the warped view of ‘rights’ that has developed over recent years. As things stand it seems that it’s possible for a woman to decide that she wants a child, and this is apparently her right. And if she can’t get pregnant any other way she can get IVF treatment on the taxpayer from the NHS, and apparently this too is her right. And if she gets pregnant and then decides that she doesn’t want that baby after all, not because there’s anything wrong with the foetus or any doubt that she can carry it to term but because it’s no longer the right time (or worse, the right baby), she can get the termination on the NHS and paid for by the taxpayer too. Well, okay, I might not approve of what she does with her body and what life choices she makes but that’s for her and no-one else to decide – my big nose is staying well and truly out of it. However, she shouldn’t be expecting everyone else to chip in and pay for her choices, but she does because some fucktoons have let her think that it’s her right to have a child and her right to bill everyone else in pursuit of that.
Children are not a right at all – they’re a privilege. More people might remember that if there was a bit less getting other people to pay for them. That goes double when it comes to conceiving them.
* The gent’s contribution is, predictably enough, simply to knock one out into a jam jar or something. I can’t speak for other men but personally the presence of needles and catheters would probably work against this.
** I wonder how many would get a termination if the hubby or boyfriend had died instead.
*** Don’t know about the situation with taxpayer subsidised IVF here in Australia but the taxpayer sure as hell pays for everybody’s sprogs after they’re born through the ‘baby bonus’. To the government’s credit they have changed it from a lump sum payment to instalments to make it a bit harder to spend the money on flatscreen TVs.