Accepted: Between Ages 18-42
by kdesrochers on February 23, 2015 - 8:54pm
According to the website provided by the American Pregnancy Association, 16 438 women become pregnant everyday with more than ¼ of these women experiencing pregnancy loss, while another 5 479 couples begin to realize they are going to endure infertility issues. Quebec was one of the first places in the world to allow fully covered IVF treatments and now with the arrival of Bill 20, these treatments have been limited to certain age groups and the funds have been greatly scaled back.
In Vitro Fertilization is the fertilization of an egg and sperm within a laboratory, once fertilized and developed, the cell can then be placed inside a women. According to the American Pregnancy Association, in order to qualify for IVF patients must have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, ovulation disorders, genetic disorders, and unexplained infertility. The process may be long and difficult, however it has now been restricted to women of 18-42 years of age, with the appearance of Bill 20.
Due to Bill 20, many now view Quebec as “[curtailing] one of the most generous public-funding plans for fertility treatments in the world” (Grant). When the funding for the coverage of IVF was emplaced in 2010, according to Kelly Grant in the Globe and Mail, “Quebec to Cut in Vitro Fertilization Insurance Coverage”, published on November 28, 2014, Quebec “was really seen as one of the leaders in North America in terms of recognizing infertility as a medical condition” and “heralded as a world leader” according to Marina Adshade. Though Bill 20 is not taking the procedure completely away from couples, it is limiting the funding. According to Vendeville, writer of “Quebec Cuts Public Funding for In Vitro Fertilization” in the Montreal Gazette, published on November 28, 2014, to compensate the cut in funding families earning less than $50 000 a year would be given a tax break equal 80 per cent of the procedure’s cost, while those making $120 000 or more a year will get a tax break equal to 20 per cent. As well, couples who already have a child can not be eligible to claim the tax credit (Vendeville). The average cost of IVF is around $10 000, therefore those that make less than $50 000 a year will pay $2 000 overall. The amount of 20% can be much more than families can afford.
However, the real issue is not the cost of IVF but the restrictions of families from being able to have children. Those that cannot afford the treatment are cut-off, while those that may afford it, but do not fall into the age group, are rejected. When people begin to be categorized as eligible or not do to age, the issue is no longer seen as a debate on economic class but one of civil rights. An editorial piece by Marina Adshade in the Huffington Post published on December 7, 2014, “Quebec Should Not Put Age Limits on In Vitro Fertilization”, illustrates that the implementation of Bill 20 will “ban women from having IVF even when donor eggs are used and even when the women are willing to pay for the procedure themselves”. Not only are these women unable to be given the treatment, if they are to be referred by a health care professional to clinics outside of Quebec that will perform the procedure, the doctors will be fined $50 000. The purpose of the bill may be to benefit the economic situation in Quebec; however, the restriction emplaced on the women of older age can be seen as a disgrace to basic human rights. It is unethical to dictate someone’s right to become a parent due to age. Quebec was seen as a leader in accepting infertility as a medical condition and now it’s discrimination on age is hidden behind economical benefits.
For more information on the articles/editorials mentioned follow the links listed below.