Vardit Ravitsky is an associate professor in the Bioethics Program at the School of Public Health, University of Montreal. She became a mother at 43 and is now advocating for the Quebec government to pay for all IVF treatment for women over 43. It seems in Quebec the health minister wants to limit free IVF to women under 42.
The ethics professor pointed out that there is a trend today toward delaying having children. Older women have trouble conceiving. That’s biology speaking. She wrote : “The proportion of Canadian women giving birth in their early forties has doubled since 1988 and in the U.S. it has quadrupled.”
She declared that it is a woman’s right to choose the age at which she wants to bear children. She said it is personal choice. Then she went on:
“It is also widely acknowledged that women today are under tremendous social pressures to “be responsible,” complete their education and establish financial and relationship stability prior to starting a family. Having a child later in life is not always a mere preference; often it is the result of how our current social structure limits the choices open to women. But by the time it is “socially responsible” to have a child, it may become biologically challenging. Our fertility declines and we are racing against our biological clocks. This is precisely when some need the assistance of IVF to conceive.”
What? She said women have a right to choose the timing of having children. Choose being the operative word. But she then cries that the choice has been taken away by the push and pull of the demands of society. So much to do, so little time. So she decided-she made the choice-to delay children in order to gratify her other wants and needs. All women she says have these rights. She is positively indignant-or apoplectic- and demands that we, the tax payer, pay for all women who have delayed children because of “current social structure limits.”
Perhaps she should start a campaign that requires businesses to pay for IVF-like Facebook and Apple who will give up to $20,000 in benefits to help employees pay for infertility treatments, sperm donors and even to freeze their eggs
Women have demanded the right to go to school, to become movers and shakers in the world. Break that glass ceiling! And congrats to all. Women have succeeded in the used-to-be-called man’s world. Well, welcome to the world you created: one filled with grandiose infantile delusions of entitlement.
I remember, many years ago, taking my three children to the park. They were all under four. This memory is so vivid-it is etched in my brain-what some people might call a screen memory. A woman came over to me. She had one child. And we started talking as young mothers do in the playground. She looked at me and said, “So, do you work?” The voices in my head are screaming “What? Do I work? What does it look like I am doing?”
And I said, looking first at my three little children and then at her, “Yes, I do work, I raise children.”
Feminists have tried to turn woman like me who want to be mothers into failures. Raising children is not considered work. Yet, mothers and fathers are responsible for the most important product our society produces-the future. We instill ethics and values into our children-our values, our ethics-not the values of others. Not the values of 20 something early childhood educators or nannies.
There is an old prayer in Judaism that men say. Thank you God for making me a man, not a woman. I laughed when I heard that one. For a long time I thanked God for making me a woman. Nothing scared me more that the thought of being responsible for providing a family with food clothing and shelter. I admired fathers who did that. I wanted to be a mom.
This is not a diatribe against women who go to work. Good on them. How fortunate for them that they live in the West and have so many choices. And then there are women who go to work and come home to care for their children. I don’t know how they do it. They must be exhausted and short-tempered. I doubt they have energy for helping with homework.
I remember being told years ago that children bubble forth with information the moment they get home from school. Those five or ten minutes could be the most important minutes of the day-between a mother and a child. It was true in my home. Lots of talk upon entering the house and then off they went.
Feminists have had a great effect on our society. Family is no longer considered most important. Shelley Correll, a sociology professor and director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University wrote “Anything that gives women more control over the timing of fertility is going to be helpful to professional women. It potentially addresses the conflicts between the biological clock and the clockwork of women’s careers.
According to these two professional women, Ms. Correll and Ms. Ravitsky, having a family comes last on the bucket list, an after- thought, instead of being a priority. Perhaps Ms Ravitsky should start a campaign that requires businesses to pay for IVF-like Facebook and Apple who will give up to $20,000 in benefits to help employees pay for infertility treatments, sperm donors and even to freeze their eggs.
I had children when I was in my twenties. I can’t imagine being pregnant in my forties. To put this in perspective, I was 49 when I welcomed my first grandchild.
Feminists fail to recognize when you choose one door, others may close.
Ms. Ravitsky, associate professor in the Bioethics Program at the School of Public Health, University of Montreal, ended her diatribe with this:
“But there is no way to justify draconian measures that have nothing to do with cost control, but are rather an affront to women’s rights. Rather than protecting us from IVF, you should protect us from unwarranted government intrusion.”
An affront to women’s rights?
My head is spinning.