News today that a fertility expert is recommending that women in their 20s should have sections of their ovaries frozen so that they can have babies much later in life is pissing me right off. If a woman is suffering from a serious illness, which either itself or its treatment will alter fertility, fine put some ovum away for the future.
However, the simple plain thing we, as a society, should be doing is ensuring that it’s possible for women to naturally have babies when they are in their 20s if they feel ready to have them. What good can come of playing with biology on such a fundamental level that we change the way our life-cycles actually begin in the first place. Also, taking eggs from frozen ovaries is something that we have less knowledge of when it comes to the side-effects than of traditional IVF.
Just because we can manipulate something to our “advantage” through the use of technology, does not mean that we should do it. (I don’t actually have high fears on genetically modified food, but that’s a debate for another day and maybe someone else’s blog.)
Women finding if difficult to have children during the ages that nature intended, is a fault that has been induced by Western society. And this is one time where society needs to change.
Okay, so there’s people saying that, “Women have to accept that they can’t have everything – a career and a family,” well I’ve got a simple reply to that:
They can when there’s free child care.
Women, no matter what their age, (and this is more UK specific) need access to free adequate child care that will allow them to earn when they have children. I believe that the revenue reaped in terms of taxes by having women working at the same time as having children will far outweigh the costs of paying for said childcare, especially if you consider that for most of the working day the majority of those children will already be in education.
I’m not saying that women should be allowed to have as many children as they want, because we do need to watch how much we increase our population by, but it’s a simple fact of life that women need to have babies in order to replace the population anyway. If businesses want workers of the future, they need babies.
And to businesses that complain about maternity pay and leave: you want to still be in business in 20 years time right? Well, shut-up and get on with it. Think long term rather than short term.