The story of a 70-year-old Ugandan woman who gave birth to twins through IVF has sparked discussion about whether women should be allowed to have children after a certain age.
Broadcaster Clare Muldoon, and Forecaster and Author, James Woudhuysen joined Stephen Dixon and Anne Diamond on GB News to discuss the case.
Broadcaster Clare Muldoon, and Forecaster and Author, James Woudhuysen joined Stephen Dixon and Anne Diamond on GB News
Anne Diamond came in, saying, “That’s not why IVF was invented.” Again Muldoon agreed: “No, it was not. Not for 70 year old women living in Africa with no support to actually help her postpartum and then help the child. What, do they expect Madonna to airlift in and adopt the child again? I mean, it’s ridiculous.”
James Woudhuysen joined the discussion, saying: “I hear what you say, Clare, but exactly who are we to judge in Britain about all of this stuff, right?”
Muldoon came back, “Well, as a mother, I think I’m pretty well placed to understand.”
“That’s identity politics,” said Woudhuysen. “The fact that you reduce it turns the political discussion and the discussion on Africa’s prospects and the the rights of women and all of that into your personal identity. I’m a father, that doesn’t bear on it. So can we not just play the women card?
“I’m asking a question, who are we to judge who will arbitrate on matters like this in Britain or in Africa? Is it going to be the Supreme Court? Will they know best or are they all men?”
Stephen replied: “The point is when it comes to courts – this isn’t actually going to be a court issue – but when it comes to courts what they do, they put the welfare of the child above any other priority. And that would be the question here. What is the welfare of the children who by the time they’re just 10 years old, their mother will be eighty?
Woudhuysen addressed Muldoon, asking: “I must ask you, Clare, at what age in Britain would you deny the right of women to have children? What is it, 60? 65?”
Muldoon came back: “The thing is, with women, we’ve got natural reproductive genes and equipment that enable it. And when that equipment stops, called menopause, which differs from age to age from woman to woman. That’s the natural age. We can’t forgive or we can’t forget about the natural law in this country, the moral law, or indeed the the common law.”
James Woudhuysen (left) and Clare Muldoon (right)
Woudhuysen repeated his question: “What age would you deny women the right to have children?”
“Whenever they’re past menopause,” replied Muldoon. Anne agreed, saying “I think I’d say the same.”
Muldoon continued, “It’s fact. Because women cannot conceive after menopause naturally. IVF was brought in to help childlessness and help couples actually have children who were otherwise denied because of the fact that women miscarried or male sperm count wasn’t up. That was the facilitation for women to conceive via IVF.”
Woudhuysen made one final point before the discussion came to close: “What I’m pointing to is the underdevelopment of Africa and India and the particular plight of women in those countries and that I don’t believe you can reduce that to this perhaps questionable case. I believe there’s a wider canvas which is neglected in the West and should not be neglected by GB News, which is the fate of mothers of any age in Africa.”
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