The Progress Educational Trust (PET) — the charity that publishes BioNews — has relaunched its #ExtendTheLimit campaign to change the ten-year storage limit on social egg freezing, with a Mother's Day message: help others to be mothers.
A new online petition at www.change.org/extendthelimit has gathered approaching 200 supporters in the short time since its launch, but is hoping to gather many more.
'Women face so many hurdles and pressures in becoming a mum – not least now as we face the current health crisis. Social egg freezing should be empowering women to choose the best time to start a family, not imposing new limits on them. Women deserve reproductive choice, yet today increasing numbers of women in the UK are facing the stark choice of having to destroy their frozen eggs or become a mother before they are ready to do so because of the arbitrary ten-year storage limit,' said PET's director, Sarah Norcross.
'PET welcomes the government's recent public consultation on this issue which is a step in the right direction. Now, though, we are asking the public to show their support and help others to be mothers by signing and sharing PET's online petition'.
Under current UK law, women who freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons (sometimes called 'social egg freezing') are only allowed to keep them stored for ten years. If women don't use them 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.
GP and TV presenter Dr Zoe Williams froze her eggs two years ago when she was 38 and is supporting the #ExtendTheLimit campaign.
'There is no scientific reason for eggs to be destroyed at ten years and there are numerous reasons why this arbitrary rule is harmful to women and couples. For women who are reaching the ten-year threshold I cannot imagine the unnecessary heartache of their investment in future parenthood being literally flushed down the toilet,' she said.
'The ten-year social egg freezing storage limit needs to change because it damages women's chances of becoming biological mothers, is outdated and unscientific because new egg freezing technology means eggs can be stored for longer than ten years, and it discriminates against women because female fertility begins to fall in a woman's late twenties, before dropping steeply after 35,' Norcross added.
'Egg freezing is the fastest growing fertility treatment in the UK: PET is calling on the government to show compassion, extend the ten-year social egg freezing limit and give women who have frozen their eggs the choice about when to use them.'
Please sign and share PET's #ExtendTheLimit petition at www.change.org/extendthelimit and help others to be mothers.