I personally believe that IVF (in vitro fertilization) should be publicly funded in Alberta. It makes sense because Infertility is a medical issue and should be treated as such. Also because it is the right thing to do. Having children should be a right, not a privileged and should be available to everyone. I have previously explained why it makes economic sense for the province to fund IVF– Alberta can save $97 million over five years if they offer public funding for IVF.
Mrs. M worries that people would be wasting money, trying over and over again to conceive a biological child rather than going through adoption. I wanted to mention a few things that seem to be misunderstood about publicly funded fertility treatments in Alberta.
If in vitro fertilization where to be covered it would come with a lifetime maximum number of cycles that would be funded. The standard is for a set number of cycles that would be covered and 3 cycles seems to be the average number. There would also be a limit the number of embryos transferred each time. When a couple has sold a car and gone into debt to pay for this treatment, the instinct is to transfer more, literally putting more of your eggs in one basket. A physician can decide to allow another embryo if the patient has special circumstances such, including age.
The end goal of a successful embryo transfer is a single healthy pregnancy. While undergoing IVF myself, they explained at a group information session that the most common side affect is a multiple pregnancy. I think the entire room laughed, thinking, that would be amazing! From a medical standpoint, it is not considered ideal because of the high risk of complications. (From my own experience I can now claim this to be true). The aim is to reduce multiple pregnancies following IVF in Alberta from 30 to 5%, which is what will decrease the expenses on the system.
Katherine Hardy, a lawyer and mother, asks “the answer really depends for me on further details about how those potential programs would be administered. Our healthcare coverage subsidizes many non-life threatening health-related services. Why would we treat fertility any differently? A dollar spent providing that assistance out of our health care funding does not mean a dollar less spent in support of adoptive options. That’s not how the math works. Do studies actually show that people forgo adoption in favor of fertility treatment?”
In terms of IVF vs. Adoption is a whole other discussion that is better saved for another day. I know people who have been on every side of the adoption circle and the circumstances are different in every situation. However, to contradict Ms. M I don’t feel like adoption is simple or that IVF is taking away from that mission itself. I will vent on that one another day.
When we support the public funding of IVF we are helping to build Alberta families. If you thought having a baby was expensive with all the gear, equipment, and toys to shop for, imagine if everyone had to pay $13,000 to conceive in the first place. How healthy is that?
I am proud to be a part of the Generations of Hope social media team, as I 100% support publicly funded In Vitro Fertilization in Alberta. Feel free to follow the conversation by following @gensofhope or searching #ABHC4IVF #abpoli on Twitter or Facebook.
If you haven’t already, please sign the petition at Generations Of Hope.