Intended for healthcare professionals


Commentary: Selling unproved fertility treatments to women desperate for a baby may be unethical

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 01 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6434
  1. Jody Day, founder, Gateway Women
  1. jody{at}

We are living in a time of amplified pronatalist ideology: in one generation the most shamed female stereotype has shifted from being an unmarried mother to being a crazy cat lady—that is, a single, childless woman.

Pregnant celebrities grace the covers of women’s magazines, something that would have been seen as private and not alluring as recently as the 1970s. Gushing interviews with new mothers feature variations on “it’s the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done” meme, eclipsing women’s other accomplishments.

Such pressure for all women to become mothers belies the reality of a society where …

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