61 And PregnantSeptember 27, 2011 No Comments
If you have a problem with MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, it might be even harder to accept the reverse: 61 and pregnant.
Although she’s old enough to be a granny, an unnamed 61-year-old Brazilian woman is due with her first child this November. After having “undergone a very thorough medical clearance,” her and her 38-year-old husband got an egg donor and she’s now knocked up.
It may be controversial, but it’s not unprecedented. In 2008, a 70-year-old grandmother in India named Omkari Panwarset set a record as the oldest woman in the world to give birth to twins. “She was utterly determined to have a son” and underwent IVF treatment to make it happen.
But at 61 (not to mention 70), ethics come into play. You have to wonder about the physical and psychological risks to the child. Maybe they’ll be born healthy, but they may experience loss sooner than other kids (born to younger mothers) would.
Then again, people die all of the time; of old age, of accidents and of disease. Should doctors have the authority to ban a healthy woman (who happens to be 61) from creating life because she’s closer to death? If such laws are enacted, at what age will the line be drawn?
Right now, “there is no age limit for artificial insemination.” The decision lies in the hands of individual doctors to determine if a woman is fit to handle pregnancy. It’s their responsibility to decide if the risks are worth the outcome.
This woman is no spring chicken, but perhaps she feels the best she has in years. She has a much younger husband who wants children and likely makes her feel young and revitalized. No matter how heavy the ethical qualms weigh on me, I can’t say that it’s wrong to want to make a baby with someone you love.
And despite the risks to the child, we can’t forsake individual freedoms. Just as it should be a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy, she should be able to start one if she can and wants to. As long as the child is nurtured and loved, nothing else really matters.
Contact the author here: firstname.lastname@example.org