Same-sex couples looking to expand their families may run into to a few snags in Australia, a prominent one being bigotry. But lesbian mommies who are â€œundermining the fabric of society” by using IVF should perhaps pack their bags and head to the United Kingdom where they will not only be granted access to IVF treatments, but also on the government’s dime.
In response to Australia’s policies, a reader alerted us that for the very first time NHS will pay for fertility treatments for same-sex couples. Even if gay couples don’t have a diagnosed fertility problem, the government will fund artificial insemination. And just like their straight counterparts, if they don’t conceive after six rounds with of donor semen, “further investigations and IVF” ensue.
Predictably, not everyone is pleased with this measure. Cue the “gay people don’t matter” script:
Josephine Quintavalle, director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, told Sky News: “The NHS does not have enough money to go round. It’s one thing to treat people with genuine fertility problems. But just because someone’s sexual persuasion does not allow them to have children does not mean we have to kowtow to political correctness.”
Professor David Jones, director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, said: “NICE is requiring the NHS to provide a treatment not for a medical problem but for a personal choice.”
Sexual orientation isn’t a “personal choice,” a tidbit that obviously clouds Professor Jones’ smug statement. While budget constraints are a valid reason to perhaps tighten what the government will and will not pay for, restricting options based on sexual orientation is innately discriminatory. The fact that same-sex couples have been shut out of these government funded options for so long already speaks to the tremendous disadvantages same-sex couples have faced in building their families. But to conflate a recognition of that massive oversight with “political correctness” is to undermine same-sex couples once again, by suggesting that acknowledging their families is mere etiquette.
Luckily, the UK is willing to address — I mean “kowtow” — to the needs of same-sex families.