BPAS: fertility advice from an infertility service?
With pressure on the health services from the Coronavirus pandemic meaning that women in their 40s are being ‘denied IVF treatment’, leaving ‘some women in limbo, not knowing if their fertility treatment will be continued’, Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, has tabled an early day motion on the issue; he commented: ‘“Infertility is a medical condition recognised by the World Health Organisation but for too long treatment has been rationed by accountants seeking to trim CCG budgets”’. He maintained: ‘“No one should miss out on vital treatment because they no longer meet arbitrary age criteria due to delays caused by the pandemic”’, adding: ‘“If it was cancer treatment there would be uproar.”’ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/09/coronavirus-sees-women-40s-denied-ivf-treatment/
And yet, while much cancer treatment is being put on hold, much ‘infertility’ these days is caused by women having to pursue careers and/or not being able to find a suitable partner with whom to have a family; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/12/04/almost-half-women-turned-30-last-year-childless-ons-finds/ and in addition to financial pressures and lack of support for family formation in official policies, there is that other official policy of stopping babies already conceived from being born.
The latter approach makes it all the more astonishing that a major abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has chosen to speak up for childless women affected by the Covid effect on IVF provision: BPAS submitted Freedom of Information requests whose answers revealed that in England, Clinical Commissioning Groups have been ‘adopting vastly different approaches, with some offering extensions and others stating that no exceptions to the age limit will be made’; apparently, they ‘found that the delay in accessing treatment, and uncertainty about their ability to qualify for treatment, are causing significant harm to some patients’ emotional and mental wellbeing.’
But in providing abortions, BPAS is ‘causing significant harm to some patients’ emotional and mental wellbeing’ by actively denying them the chance to be mothers.
Marta Jansa Perez of BPAS commented: ‘“It’s great to see the HFEA, NHS England and NICE offer clear guidance on this issue, to ensure patients’ needs are met by CCGs. In England we already have an injurious postcode lottery system whereby certain patients are denied IVF purely because of where they live. This leaves many no option but to privately fund their treatment. It’s against the most basic principle of the NHS – that care should be provided according to need and not ability to pay. We can’t allow the same approach in our response to the pandemic. I really hope all CCGs in England will heed this advice and stop the clock. Fertility patients have been hit hard this year – this is the least they deserve.”’
However, Ms Perez is BPAS’s ‘Director of Embryology’, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/09/coronavirus-sees-women-40s-denied-ivf-treatment/ and if anyone should wonder why an abortion provider employs an embryologist, they are planning to launch their own ‘fertility’ service later this year; and for this ‘service’, the ‘non-profit’ but lavishly funded (by the taxpayer) organisation will be charging, while complaining that no one should have to pay for such ‘treatment’. https://www.bpas.org/more-services-information/bpas-fertility/
Could there be anything more tragically ironic than an organisation that aborts thousands of pregnancies every year, offering to create children for the childless?
No doubt they hope to emphasise that far from being just an abortion provider, they offer ‘choice’ to women, but considering the uncertainties of IVF, there will be no guarantee of a baby, especially for older women. In which case, why not offer authentic, life-affirming choice: provide those with crisis pregnancies with material help and moral support; and if the mother still feels unable to raise her child, arrange for one of the many childless couples to adopt them?
Most people would agree that while tragic, infertility is not a deadly disease – but at the same time we regard pregnancy as a deadly disease, with an equally deadly ‘treatment’ – abortion. But BPAS may be disappointed in the take-up for their new venture; for who would take fertility advice from an infertility service?