Fresh hope for childless couples as Fertility Network’s #Scream4IVF petition is presented to Prime Minister Theresa May
On the 14th of January at 3pm, leading national patient charity Fertility Network presented its #Scream4IVF petition calling for fair access to NHS fertility treatment and an end to the IVF postcode lottery to Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, London. Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures prove the public demand for a debate in Parliament. The #Scream4IVF campaign, with partners Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, launched in September 2018 and was phenomenally successful: by November 2018, over 100,000 people had signed the online petition.
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 urgently calls on the Government to debate in Westminster the issue of fair access to NHS fertility treatment.’
IVF babble co-founders, Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall-Page jointly launched the petition with Fertility Network UK. 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.’
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.’
To find out more about the campaign please visit www.scream4IVF.org