Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has voiced her support for a constituent’s Parliamentary petition calling for an end to the IVF postcode lottery.
The petition, started by Emily Scott, calls for all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to “be required to offer the same number of rounds of IVF on the NHS.” Some CCGs, including Oxfordshire’s, do not currently follow the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines, which state that all women under 40 should receive three cycles of IVF treatment.
In Oxfordshire, only one cycle is offered to women under 35. Mrs Scott had started her second cycle, and was then presented with a bill for the treatment. Layla has praised Emily’s campaign as “inspiring”.
The petition was launched on the 8 August, and needs 10,000 signatures for the Government to respond, and 100,000 signatures for a potential debate in Parliament.
Calling for people to sign the petition and support the campaign, Layla said:
“I spoke to Emily about her story at one of my constituency surgeries; it really moved me, and I will do everything I can to raise this issue in Parliament and more widely. This petition is crucial to build awareness and make sure their voice is heard by government.
“In September, once we return from recess, I am planning to table an Early Day Motion to begin building more support for Emily and Ben’s campaign to end the IVF postcode lottery.
“The current situation, where there is such inequality when it comes to treatment, is appalling. That Emily has begun a campaign is inspiring.”
Gwenda Burns, Co-Chair of Fertility Fairness, commented:
“Access to fertility treatment should be dependent on your medical need, and not your postcode or pay packet. The UK pioneered IVF over 40 years ago, but that achievement literally means nothing if only those who can afford to pay for fertility treatment benefit from it. It’s time to make IVF fair.”
The petition can be viewed and signed here.