A Change Of Plans: The Post-IVF Abortion


According to the Daily Mail “dozens” of women have had abortions after getting pregnant via in-vitro fertilization, something former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe claims is akin to treating babies like “designer goods.”

As it is the Daily Mail, the article focuses on the apparent shock value surrounding the notion that women would undergo IVF and then undergo an abortion, but doesn’t really supply any statistics as to what the motivations beyond said abortions are (not that its anyone’s business), beyond a vague statement regarding “splitting with a partner and pressure to start a family” and a very unprofessional quote from a nurse who felt she had the right to tell the Daily Mail that one of her patients had an abortion after learning the father of her children was cheating on her.

The piece is clearly meant to shock and horrify, painting these women as somewhat brainless and soulless and not stopping to consider that there are a myriad of reasons as to why a woman would choose to have an abortion, and that some vaguely unethical quote from a nurse isn’t really enough to brand all of these women as shallow beings who treat babies like “designer goods” to be collected and then tossed away. It also doesn’t mention the number of women who actually give birth after receiving IVF treatments, focusing solely on the 80 (80! In all of England!) who have post-IVF abortions, thereby doubly vilifying women for not only having abortions, but for going through IVF procedures in order to conceive.

However, there is one interesting quote in the piece, from BPAS (an organization that provides contraception, pregnancy services, and abortions) head Ann Furedi, who claims that a times, “for infertile people, overcoming the problem becomes a goal in itself. Sometimes it is only when women get pregnant that they can allow themselves to ask the question about whether it is really what they want,” which raises all sorts of interesting questions in regards to the potential emotional changes and stresses that some IVF patients may experience between the process of trying to conceive and the actual conception, something that women who are trying to get pregnant without IVF most likely go through as well.

To attempt to boil all of this down into something as simplistic as “she changed her mind. How selfish! How shallow!” shows a general lack of understanding over the concept of choice: in the end, only these women truly know why they had abortions, and though certain nursing supervisors who go running to the Daily Mail might feel otherwise, it’s nobody else’s business but their own.

IVF Babies Aborted After Women Change Their Minds [DailyMail]

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