Pregnancy Over Age 50 - Debate


Pregnancies among older women have been a subject of controversy and debate. Some argue against motherhood late in life on the basis of the health risks involved, or out of concern that an older mother might not be able or around to care for a child as she ages, while others contend that having a child is a fundamental right and that it is commitment to a child's wellbeing, not the parents' ages, that matters.

A survey of attitudes towards pregnancy over age 50 among Australians found the 54.6% believed it was acceptable for a postmenopausal woman to have her own eggs transferred and that 37.9% believed it was acceptable for a postmenopausal women to receive donated ova or embryos.

Governments have sometimes taken actions to regulate or restrict later-in-life childbearing. In the 1990s, France approved a bill which prohibited postmenopausal pregnancy, which the French Minister of Health at the time, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said was "...immoral as well as dangerous to the health of mother and child". In Italy, the Association of Medical Practitioners and Dentists prevented its members from providing women aged 50 and over with fertility treatment. Britain's then-Secretary of State for Health, Virginia Bottomley, stated, "Women do not have the right to have a child; the child has a right to a suitable home". However, in 2005, age restrictions on IVF in the United Kingdom were officially withdrawn.

Legal restrictions are only one of the barriers confronting women seeking IVF, as many fertility clinics and hospitals set age limits of their own.

Read more about this topic:  Pregnancy Over Age 50

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