Help others to be mothers - #ExtendTheLimit on social egg freezing
Increasing numbers of women in the UK are facing a stark choice between seeing their frozen eggs destroyed or becoming a mother before they are ready to do so, because of an outdated and unscientific law.
You can help them by signing and sharing our #ExtendTheLimit petition.
Why is this important?
If women want to try to preserve their fertility, the best time to freeze their eggs is in their 20s. But under current UK law, women who freeze their eggs for non-medical (social) reasons can only store them for 10 years. This means if a woman freezes her eggs when she is 28, she has to be ready to use them before she is 38. If women don't use their eggs during this time, they have to destroy their frozen eggs or face the pressure of becoming a mother before they are ready to do so, either with a partner or (if single) as a solo mum via sperm donation.
This law damages women's chances of becoming biological mothers, is outdated and unscientific (current egg freezing technology makes it possible to store eggs for far longer than 10 years with no ill effects), and discriminates against women (because female fertility begins to fall in a woman's late 20s, before dropping steeply after 35). That's why the Progress Educational Trust (PET) is campaigning to change this law, and give more women a chance to be mum.
PET Director Sarah Norcross says: 'Women face so many hurdles and pressures in becoming a mum. Social egg freezing should be empowering women to choose the best time to start a family, not imposing new limits on them. Egg freezing is the fastest growing fertility treatment in the UK. PET is calling on the UK Government to show compassion, extend the 10-year social egg freezing limit, and give women who have frozen their eggs the choice about when to use them.'
GP and TV presenter Dr Zoe Williams, who froze her eggs two years ago when she was 38, says: ‘There is no scientific reason for eggs to be destroyed at 10 years and there are numerous reasons why this arbitrary rule is harmful to women and couples. For women who are reaching the 10-year threshold, I cannot imagine the unnecessary heartache of their investment in future parenthood being literally flushed down the toilet. Please sign and share PET's #ExtendTheLimit petition and help others to be mothers.’
PET's petition can be signed and shared online at www.change.org/extendthelimit
Let's change the law, and give women reproductive choice.
Who else is involved?
PET's amazing volunteer Sharon Jones has agreed to share her story, explaining the personal impact that the 10-year limit is having on her and on many other women.
The #ExtendTheLimit campaign launched in October 2019, receiving widespread media coverage. Just five months later, the campaign celebrated its first major success when the Government announced a public consultation on extending the 10-year limit for eggs, as well as for sperm and embryos.
Caroline Dinenage, who was the Government's Minister of State for Care when this consultation was launched, says: 'No woman should ever be denied the choice to become a mother, especially when our advancements in technology mean eggs and sperm can now be stored for longer. Clearly there is a need to reconsider this limit.'
The #ExtendTheLimit campaign is also supported by politicians including the Crossbench Peer Baroness Ruth Deech, who has discussed the issue in the House of Lords.
Please sign and share the #ExtendTheLimit petition, to show the Government why this unfair, discriminatory and outdated law needs to change now.
How you can help
Please show your support by:
Signing and sharing the petition at www.change.org/extendthelimit
Responding online to the UK Government's public consultation, before this consulation closes on 5 May 2020.
Making an online donation to the campaign.
Emailing PET's Head of Communications, Catherine Hill, at email@example.com for other ways to get involved. For example, if the 10-year storage limit affects you personally, then you can volunteer to speak to the media.
Please feel free to download the images below and use them, on social media and elsewhere. Click on an image to download it.