The British Fertility Society published new guidelines Thursday calling on Britain’s Department of Health to offer free egg freezing to transgenders so that they can have families.
The non-binding guidelines insist that the National Health Service (NHS) has a duty to offer free fertility treatments to transgenders because they have a right to become parents, according to the Telegraph. “The number of people coming forward with gender dysphoria has increased rapidly over the past decade,” said the lead clinician at a gender identity clinic, Dr. James Barrett, explaining the need for the NHS to adjust to the increasing prevalence of persons seeking to change their sexual orientation.
Barrett also noted that freezing eggs prior to transitioning is a medical necessity, given that many biological females become infertile as a result of their hormone treatments.
Other medical professionals posit that the NHS should only pay for essential health care.
“The cash-strapped NHS should be concentrating on offering good basic healthcare to women or helping them beat their cancer, and not get side-tracked with these kinds of novelties,” said CORE leader, Josephine Quintavalle, the Telegraph reports. CORE is an organization that seeks to promote the ethical treatment of embryos, according to its website.
Wales and Scotland both offer free egg freezing for transgenders, but England has not shifted to adopt the policy. Following Thursday’s guidelines, however, the NHS will have to decide whether it wants to adopt the policy recommendations. Egg harvesting and storage for one year costs roughly £3,300 in total.
The guidelines come after American facilities are working further to provide services for transgenders to help them through their transition. A Utah university clinic is now offering speech classes to help transgender individuals learn how to adopt the voice of the gender they’d like to identify as. The program is designed to help transgender people feel more comfortable in their assumed gender, and to help others accept their choice, according to the Daily Herald. (RELATED: University Clinic Teaches Transgender People How To Speak With Voices To Fit Their Gender Choice).
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