It takes two

Law Lords reject woman’s IVF plea (BBC)
Yes it’s unfortunate that she has had cancer and her ovaries removed but appealing on what appears to be a tenuous base, that of “her only chance of having a child of her own”, is not really on. If the law were decided by how hard we can tug at heartstrings, I dread to think what a mess we would be in.
While the man in this relationship has withdrawn consent – which he is perfectly entitled to do – surely this is no different to if he had wanted to have the embryo implanted and carried by another woman yet the egg provider refused permission ? I would guess that if this was the case people would be against it simply because it was the man, so why different because it’s the woman ?

The European Court also has a lot to answer for. Okay, so there has been the odd case that changes laws, but for the most part, it seems to be an invention by lawyers for lawyers. It’s a way to suck money out of people with no real regard for their feelings or their emotional turmoil. It’s slow at bringing a case, yet I’d bet it’s fast at the creation of legal bills.

Back to the case … let’s say the Court had said that she could go ahead and have the child. Firstly, that would have meant the law had overridden the legal desire of the man. The fact that the embryo is frozen merely provides the time for legal argument, but if they had said yes, what would happen if a woman got pregnant, the man discovers this and the woman says she is going to have a termination. If the Court had said on yes before, despite one party refusing permission, then surely it would follow that the Court would have to rule in favour of the man this time and prevent the termination ? If not, why not ? Secondly – and I’m sure this didn’t figure in the above case – what happens after the birth ? What happens when the Child Support Agency decide, following the mother’s actions, to seek financial help from him ? He should pay shouldn’t he ? Or does the fact that he opposed the birth give him an opt-out ? And if it did, how many other fathers would do the same ? And if he had opposed the birth, but the Court ignored him, how is that going to affect the future child ?

Shit happens in life, and the Courts can neither make it better nor should they be asked to try.

2 thoughts on “It takes two

  1. In answer to your question, of course he would have no right to stop the woman from terminating her pregnancy because it is women who give birth with all the risks to their health that entails, and it is men who feel free to run off and leave them, complaining when the CSA catches them up later on. But this court verdict suggests that he does have the right to demand that she doesn’t give birth. What about men whose partners didn’t happen to need IVF, are they now going to be able to insist that their exes have abortions? If not, why not? Shouldn’t they have the same ‘rights’ as this man?

    This man consented to the IVF treatment, unless his sperm was taken without permission which sounds unlikely, and just because he has run out on the embryo before it had the chance to become a child does that mean it should be taken away from the mother? Conception has already taken place, in that sense it is no different from an early-stage pregnancy. It’s very unfeeling to say it’s good this poor woman can’t have children of her own. I would guess that people who are denied the chance to become parents suffer a lot more than men who father children and then decide they don’t want them. It’s tragic the courts think saving this man a bit of cash is more important than allowing his ex the possibility of becoming a mother 🙁

  2. I didn’t mean to use the word ‘good’ in a callous manner – it was more of a ‘good that sounds like commonsense’.

    “women who give birth with all the risks to their health that entails, and it is men who feel free to run off and leave them, complaining when the CSA catches them up later on.”
    Hmm… isn’t that always the reason things are trotted out as why things should be in favour of the woman ? This ‘risk to health’ – it’s a natural process, not an unnatural risk.

    As soon as a body part leaves the body – and in this case an embryo – it needs an owner, it becomes property, it becomes subject to the law. Now when this started, the law then regarding both permissions being essential was exactly the same – BOTH parties knew what was ahead. They were presumably counselled about the state of play then, but love blinds – that’s not the fault of the law.
    The law is not out of step here, and the HFEA created what I see as a common sense approach – it is the maintaining of that approach that I see as good, not the upset that this woman is going through.

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