Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Who Cares about Same Sex Couples!

The British Fertility Societyhave released today a statement on social criteria for NHS funding of fertility treatment (word doc) in which they assess access to fertility treatment in the NHS and set out of list of recommended social criteria to help every Primary Care Trust in England and Local Health Board in Wales meet government fertility targets.

The statement clearly states that "Single women and same sex couples should be treated the same way as heterosexual couples"; yet BBC news online chose to report on the fact that the BFS recommends that treatment should be refused to obese women, whithout mentioning same sex couple.

BBC radio4, in their news bulletins, chose a similar line using the obesity angle as headline and only mentioning single mothers and same sex couples when developing.
They did broadcast a clip from an interview of Josephine Quintavalle, the co-founder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) in which she expressed the view that allowing single women and lesbians couple was denying children the right to a father and undermining the role of fathers in general.

This is, of course a completely spurious argument; the only way to do what Mrs Quintavalle claims is being done would be actually restrict parenthood to fatherless families. This is not at all what is happening.

What is really interesting here, however, I think, is the shift of emphasis in the way the story is told. It seems that the fact that the BFS want to allow equal treatment for same sex couple is not as news worthy as it used to be not so long ago. A step in the right direction, if you ask me.

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1 comment:

  1. And (same sex issue* aside) what about obese men?

    Would they be disallowed fertility treatment too? Or, because they are not traditionally thought of as the primary carer of a child, are they 'allowed' to have eaten all the pies? Hmmm?

    * unintentional joke, I swear...


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