Scandal of aborted IVF babies.

June 6, 2010

This article appeared in The Times this morning.

I was sent the link and I knew from the headline that this another piece of anti-abortion propaganda. THe ‘Scandal of aborted IVF babies‘ is  actually 80 women who ended pregnancies which resulted from IVF.

The article declares the only possible reason for these terminations can be ‘social'(presumably ‘social’ means frivolous) an assumption th appears to have been made on the basis of no information at all.

I don’t know these women, and given that the decision to end a pregnancy is one that our abortion figures show is not taken lightly- I can’t really speculate about why they chose to do so.

The effect of IVF and infertility on a woman’s life, relationship, and circumstances, I do know. Very well.

I tried to conceive my daughter for several years. I never needed IVF, it wouldn’t have helped, I had an issue with recurring miscarriages. Obviously my story ended happily, as evidenced by the curly haired girl who is playing at her friends house  as I write.

The first time I got pregnant- I hadn’t contemplated fertility issues and what they might mean.  I spent my teens and early twenties treating pregnancy as a pastime best avoided- the realisation at 23 that motherhood may be something I would never experience, not by choice- but because my body just couldn’t do it- was heartbreaking.

Years of buying  pregnancy tests in bulk, aware that they would all be thrown in the bin without that precious extra line, or flushing away the products of another pregnancy that for a few weeks held every one of your hopes and dreams- takes it’s toll.  Knowing  the older you get the less chance of success, and destroying yourself while trying to do everything ‘right’.  Planning your life in reference to the days of your cycle. From the ridiculousness of home sperm testing kits(Oh so glad you could pop by-whats that in the gravy jug? That would be my husband’s  sperm in a test tube….), to the intrusiveness of medical examinations which  add variety to the list of objects that have been inserted into your vagina-living with fertility issues takes over your whole life.

By the time you get a referral for IVF- you have been living and breathing this struggle for a long time, and compared to IVF, these are the happy days. I don’t know many people who have made it through IVF as the same person they were when they happily flushed their contraceptive pills away.

Of course it would be absurd to suggest that a process which lasts years, and has this effect, might mean that for some women, the end of the road sees a life very different to the one they started with- and there might be very good reasons to end a pregnancy. God forbid I suggest that a woman who has been through this, may actually have taken that decision quite seriously.

I wouldn’t dare suggest that IVF is not an immunisation against the health problems that affect women and their fetuses during pregnancy- that would be outrageous. 0.002% of women who went through IVF in a year making the decision to terminate their pregnancies- a scandal obviously.

Like I say, I don’t want to speculate  but if you can find me a woman who has been through the heartbreak of infertility, the hell of IVF, and then has made the decision to end the resulting pregnancy- for fun- I would like to meet her.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa, Freedom Fighter. Freedom Fighter said: Scandal of aborted IVF babies.: This article appeared in The Times this morning. When I opened it, I knew from the… http://bit.ly/9XBKp6 […]

  2. […] Scandal of aborted IVF babies. « Deeplyflawedbuttrying's Blog […]

  3. Sometimes the reason that makes conception difficult is the same reason that means sadly sometimes an IVF pregnancy has to be terminated. I’ve had three children (two last week) through successful IVF, but I know of others whose stories haven’t ended so happily. It’s sometimes better for a mother’s mental health to end a pregnancy than carry on to full-term with a baby that can’t survive.

    • Congratulations on the babies! I agree- 80 women out of 40’000-seems like quite a small number-especially when you factor in terminations which are terminating one of multiple fetuses, in a pregnancy- or the type of health complaints you talk about.

  4. Great post, agree wholeheartedly. Have written something similar (but less articulate) here http://jenmum.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/abortion-and-ivf/

  5. […] Ledger Re: Article in The Times June 8, 2010 I wrote to Professor Bill Ledger, after I blogged about this article in the Sunday […]

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