Since infertility specialist Robert Winston mentioned some months ago that it may one day be possible for men to be pregnant, he quickly regretted raising a topic that promises to have a very long media gestation. Now Professor Jurgis Grudzinskas of the Royal London Hospital has made the same mistake.
News in the British press that a baby - one of a set of triplets - has been successfully delivered after growing outside of the womb, provided journalists with the opportunity to resurrect the male pregnancy fantasy. Professor Grudzinskas' comment, that 'this case has proved that babies do not need a uterus to survive' was quickly picked up on by the media and has, according to the Daily Mail, 'sparked a fierce debate'. The Mail provided evidence of this set-to by publishing the rather platitudinous comments of anti-abortion veteran, Jack Scarisbrick, who is concerned about an apparent scientific imperative and a willingness of man to play God. Meanwhile, Davor Jurkovic, the man in charge of the triplets' delivery, seemed rather disinterested, saying that he didn't consider male pregnancies to be a viable possibility.
This incident demonstrates just how easily a debate can appear out of thin air and disappear again before we have time to notice that it wasn't a debate after all. The male pregnancy 'row' appeared on Saturday, but had mysteriously evaporated by the following day. Had the dispute been resolved overnight?
I suspect that the protagonists have been sent home and when the next opportunity arises they will be rediscovered - just to let us know that the debate has been raging on all the time.