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New rules may spell the end for pro-life fertility care

By on Thursday, 14 June 2012

Life Fertility Care may be forced to close if new GMC guidelines are approved

Life Fertility Care may be forced to close if new GMC guidelines are approved

A pro-life charity might be forced to close its fertility care services if new guidelines on belief and medical practice are ratified, it emerged this week.

The General Medical Council’s (GMC) draft guidelines suggest that doctors should not be allowed to discriminate between unmarried and married couples in the provision of services, including contraception and fertility treatment.

But the Life Fertility Care Centre, which helps women who are struggling to conceive, said that offering its fertility services exclusively to married couples was “non-negotiable”.

The consultation on the guidelines ends today, Thursday June 14. Earlier this week Life said: “It is likely that if guidelines were to be published in their current form, then, yes, we may be forced to stop offering Natural Procreative Technology (Napro).

“The limitation to married couples is non-negotiable, so if GMC guidelines formally prohibit that practice it would make life very difficult for any doctor who wants to continue with Napro (and not just in Life Fertility Care).

“The threat of disciplinary or legal action would act as a severe chilling effect on the whole service, with the main losers being our patients.”

A spokesman for the General Medical Council said: “It may depend on the specific circumstances, but refusing to provide services on grounds of lifestyle or marital status alone would be contravening our guidance.”

The charity Life was first established to support women through crisis pregnancies following the legalisation of abortion. Its website says the inspiration behind its fertility clinic is Catholic.

Dr David Albert Jones of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre said the GMC guidelines in their current form failed to sufficiently recognise conscience in medicine.

He said: “The draft guidance is also inaccurate at some points in its account of the law, in that it claims that the Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal not to offer a service to unmarried women which was offered to married women.

“It is sincerely to be hoped that this is corrected in the final version or it could result in a restricting of morally acceptable forms of fertility services that are currently offered to married couples. It is especially important in relation to fertility treatment that the doctor is permitted to consider the wellbeing of children who might be conceived by the process.”

Bonnie Lander, a Catholic who is a client of Life, said: “I can attest to the anguish which infertility causes for a significant portion of families in Britain. At present, we are given few options – often no options – by the NHS.

“The fertility care offered by Life is credible and long-term. It has a higher success rate than IVF, is more cost effective and carries far fewer risks. Forcing Life to close its fertility services would take away a vital service to the community.”

The final version of the guidance is due to be published in December.

  • la catholic state

    There must be a way around this.  This is a fine Catholic organisation and we cannot let it be closed down out of sheer spite.  Maybe it should only be available to those (of all faiths and none) who subscribe to Catholic teachings on marrriage….in the same way the Pope has said that only Catholics who ascribe to Catholic teachings on marriage can be married in the Church.


  • beimabao

  • beimabao

  • Ranmore

    “The fertility care offered by Life is credible and long-term. It has a higher success rate than IVF, is more cost effective and carries far fewer risks.”

    A blatant lie. They should be shut down for that alone.

  • HeilMary1

    And UNnatural Family Cramming (NFP) is another malpractice lie! — not only do women ovulate TWO & THREE times PER MONTH, thus making NFP malpractice fraud, but also NFP guarantees conceiving INTERSEX GAY “accidents” during women’s “infertile” cycles.  Now you know why the RCC is filled with closet gay priests:  their mothers relied on the NFP hoax!

  • Athelstane

    It seems clear, unfortunately, that you’ve been misinformed about NFP.

  • HeilMary1

    YOU are misinformed!  Please also read what women actually experienced in the comments section below the article.

    “Women may ovulate more than once a month, suggests a
    Canadian study that overturns conventional views on the human menstrual

    The findings may explain why the rhythm method of contraception is so unreliable….”

    “…whether NFP can increase the risks of birth defects through
    fertilization by ‘aged gametes;’ and whether NFP is capable of helping
    couples to select the sex of the child….Some problems
    arise concerning evaluation of effectiveness: NFP advocates often do
    not consider couples who ‘break the rules’ as acceptors, and when these
    couples are excluded from data the method appears much more effective….”

    “Unconfirmed epidemiologic studies suggest a possible increased risk of
    birth defects associated with Natural Family Planning (NFP) use, and an
    increased incidence of spontaneous abortion or frequency of chromosomal
    abnormalities in abortuses associated with conceptions outside the most
    “fertile period”. The risk is approximately two- to four-fold….”

    On intersex infants:

  • gabriel_syme

     You refer to the “rhythm method” showing you are misinformed.

    The NFP promoted in the modern era is the Billings method.  It is equally as effective as any artificial contraception, which even the NHS openly state.

    It is reliably promoted and used in China to effect their one child rule.  There are over 1,000,000 Billings fertility teachers in China alone.

  • JByrne24

    “It [the Billings method] is equally as effective as any artificial contraception, which even the NHS openly state.”

    This is a false claim.
    There is only one other method of contraception that is of similar effectiveness – that is the IUD.
    The “pill” is vastly more effective.

  • gabriel_syme

    Thats just not the case my friend.

    “If the instructions are properly followed, natural family planning methods are up to 98% effective”

    I have also heard 99% quoted.

    The reasons the pill is popular are all of:

    - capitalists make money from manufacturing the pills

    - billings require women to be responsible and have awareness of how their own bodies work. The pill does not.

    - majority of western women have been brainwashed into thinking artificial contraception is the only way they can effectively manage their fertility

    The pill is not more popular due to being “vastly more effective” (because it isnt).

    As stated, China very successfully manages its one child policy using Billings on a large scale. To the Chinese mind, there is little point in wasting money and effort on condoms, when the same goal can be achieved for free and naturally.

  • Neade7

    Nobody has mentioned that the pill can have serious side effects on womens health and also can damage future fertility!!!!!  Why are people so afraid of natural co-operative treatment, does empowering women scare the medical community?  Regardless of scientific studies my two healthy napro babies would not be here and I would not be healthy only for Napro
    PS.  I’m not a catholic!

  • James H

    And your reason for saying that is…? What, exactly?

    Typical incoherence from the Culture of Death.