Parenting

Should infertility treatments be funded by the government?

Karine writes about her own experiences with infertility and why every woman has the right to have a baby.

Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto.com

Should infertility treatments be funded by the government? Um, YES! Of course, having experienced unexplained secondary infertility, I am completely biased: I think every woman has a right to have a baby if she so chooses, and no one chooses to be infertile.
 
I fully admit that I had moments of guilt when I sat in the fertility clinic looking at the other women and couples, thinking how fortunate my husband and I were to be able to wrangle the money needed just to be in the room. I think our initial consultation cost about $350, and we spent more than $15,000 before we were blessed with our twins. (I still joke that we literally got a 2-for-1 deal.) I also felt a bit uneasy when I began to recognize that we were contributing to the huge business of baby-making. (For the record, I completely trusted our clinic and our doctor, and never felt I was encouraged to undergo a procedure that wasn’t completely necessary.) When you calculated the amount of money that was flowing in the room, it was shocking.
 
What makes the debate even more confusing, however, is that the rules change depending on which province you reside in as well as what is causing your problem: The Quebec government funds up to three rounds of IVF, whereas funding in Ontario, where IVF treatments were covered by OHIP before 1994, is given only to women who have blocked fallopian tubes. Discriminating in this way seems particularly unfair. In my opinion, if you aren’t going to pay for everyone, don’t play favourites and give money to a chosen few.
 
Of course, I am purposely ignoring the financial implications for the government but, ultimately, healthy population growth seems to be in everyone’s best interest. Particularly those out there who would be awesome parents if they were just given the chance.