It has been an exciting week at IVF babble as co-founders, Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall Page joined national patient charity Fertility Network UK to present their #Scream4IVF petition to Downing Street
The Change.org petition, which was launched last summer, is calling for fair access to NHS fertility treatment and an end to the IVF postcode lottery.
It reached 100,000 in November and the milestone sparked the requirement for a parliamentary debate, which both organisations hope will put an end to the current IVF postcode lottery.
At present clinical commissioning groups across the UK are reducing or scrapping IVF grant funding due to a cut in budgets.
Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall-Page said they are overwhelmed by the support the petition received and look forward to attending the parliamentary debate.
Tracey said: “The phenomenal number of people who have signed this petition emphasises the true strength of feeling for fair access to IVF across all England’s CCGs. We need the government to debate this issue and introduce legislation that ensures everyone, whatever their circumstance, has the right to equality and fairness when it comes to their fertility. We will keep working and campaigning until we have achieved that right for each and every individual who needs fertility support.”
Commenting on #Scream4IVF’s success, Fertility Network’s chief executive Aileen Feeney said: “Gathering 100,000 signatures, in such a short space of time, demonstrates the overwhelming public support to end the unethical and unfair IVF postcode lottery and create an equitable system for access to NHS fertility services in the UK.
“These 100,000 signatures represent the screams of pain and frustration from not being able to have a child without medical help – and not having your screams heard. The screams of childbirth are loud, but the screams of infertility are just as loud and today they are finally being heard.’
‘In the face of this overwhelming public pressure, Fertility Network along with IVFbabble urgently call on the Government to debate in Westminster the issue of fair access to NHS fertility treatment.’
Steve McCabe MP (Birmingham Selly Oak), whose Access to Fertility Services bill will have its second reading at Westminster later this month, said: “I am thrilled so many people have got behind our campaign to end the postcode lottery of access to IVF. Infertility is a medical condition and it is completely unfair that access to IVF treatment depends on where you live. We can’t have a situation where local NHS groups are allowed to ignore NICE guidelines and ration treatment to save money. It is simply unfair and we wouldn’t stand for it if we were talking about other medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes.
“It is clear that the public are behind our campaign so now we need the government to step up to the plate and take action to end this disgraceful postcode lottery.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said: “Infertility is no less devastating to couples than any other serious condition. The current lottery system lets couples down and all too often is deeply detrimental for their mental health. The Prime Minister must listen to the 100,000 people who are demanding change with this petition. Liberal Democrats won’t let them down, which is why we want a commitment to the funding necessary to provide fair access to IVF.”
The #Scream4IVF campaign was also in partnership with Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness.
To sign the petition, click here.