November 07, 2010

Pregnant at 70: A misuse of science

I watched a show on TLC tonight called "Pregnant at 70". It was about three women who, thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), were able to have children despite being way past menopause. Two of these women (aged 58 and 70) didn't have any previous children, but one (age 64) had had 10 kids (all of whom were now adults). The women relied on IVF because they (i) wanted a child with their new husband and (ii) weren't able to get pregnant naturally. But technically, these children aren't their biological children because they had to rely on donor eggs -- so their DNA wasn't even a part of their child's.

I was appalled that physicians would allow them to proceed with the procedure so long as these much older women were physically fit to be pregnant. What about life expectancy? Ability to physically and mentally provide care for 18 years? And I got so frustrated that these women would say that they aren't worried about having a child at their age because they don't physically look or act their age! WTF does that have to do with anything? Your body -- your organs, your immune system, etc. -- is your age and will behave accordingly. I think it is incredibly selfish and irresponsible to have a child that late in your life. At some point, you need to accept the fact that you can't have it all and, for some people, that harsh reality means you won't give birth. You can still have a meaningful life!