Friday, February 6, 2009

Pro Choice To The MAX!!! 60 Year Old Gives Birth To Twins

Canadian Press is reporting that a 60 year old Alberta woman has given birth to twin boys. Apparently the woman and her husband had tried unsuccessfully for years to conceive, both naturally and with medial help. Undeterred the couple traveled halfway around the world to India where they tried yet again, this time successfully. The woman was implanted with donor eggs and became pregnant with triplets. One of the fetuses was aborted however to ensure the survival of the other two.

A Globe & Mail article reports that a Canadian fertility clinic refused treatment, which prompted the trip to India. The woman's own obstetrician is quoted as saying he has ethical concerns about providing fertility services to a woman of advanced years, as was the case here. The article goes on to state that in Canada the age cut off for fertility treatment is 50.

I don't get it??? Why does Canada impose limits on a woman's reproductive rights? If a woman decides she wishes to become pregnant at 50, 60 or 70, heck why not 80... and can find a doctor willing to provide the service, why should she be refused? Why is this country forcing women to travel great distances and incur significant expense to obtain services that could be made available right here?

Some might try to make the point that it is not "as" safe for a post-menopausal woman to have a baby as opposed to younger mothers, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. So long as a woman is made aware of the risks involved shouldn't she be left to make the determination in consultation with a doctor? And if her doctor refuses she should have leave to find a physician who agrees with her choice and is willing to provide treatment. Would it be unreasonable to mandate that Doctors must be willing to provide such services regardless of their own moral or ethical concerns? I don't think so.
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This could be a potential growth industry. We should strive to make Canada the geriatric fertility capital of the world! With an aging population surely this couple's situation isn't unique, there must be countless other couples who would love to be raising children while their friends worry about keeping regular and where they left their teeth.

I know some will bemoan the potential health difficulties of the children conceived by Moms who are senior citizens, and the strain in could place on our Health Care system. But this is Canada, where individual rights and security of the person are enshrined in our Charter. If we're willing to fund abortion procedures then surely our system can handle the costs associated with the potential health complications these kids might have.

Let's can the debate over morals and ethics, those are matters of personal choice in this country. If there are women out there willing to pay the bucks to undergo fertility treatments we shouldn't be restricting access on the basis of something as arbitrary as age. The state has no place legislating a woman's reproductive rights.

Globe & Mail Story
Canadian Press Article

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