First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson.
By Bill Heaney
Ruth Davidson, the former Conservative leader in the Scottish Parliament, has told MSPs that she has received letters from concerned women about the fact that their in vitro fertilisation cycle has been stopped during the coronavirus pandemic.
She told First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: “I have been contacted by constituents who, a few weeks ago, received a letter from the Edinburgh fertility centre and reproductive endocrinology at the Edinburgh royal infirmary telling them that the in vitro fertilisation cycle that they were in the middle of had been stopped due to Covid-19. That was one letter among hundreds.
“The decision is completely understandable; nonetheless, it is devastating because IVF is, for many people, their last or only hope of starting a family.”
Ms Davidson, who quit the Tory leadership to have a baby with her same sex partner, said: “The First Minister is rightly concerned about the impact that Covid-19 restrictions might have on the mental health of the nation.
“I can tell her that, although IVF is a physical procedure, its mental impact can be utterly consuming. People in other parts of the United Kingdom have been given a plan that allows their clinics to apply to reopen from Monday.
“When can my constituents and others like them across the country expect to see a similar plan published for Scotland?”
Nicola Sturgeon replied: “We are currently looking at the issue, and we hope to give clarity on it soon. As Ruth Davidson indicated, that has been an issue across the UK and we want to get that service restarted as quickly as possible.
“Everybody who has been unable to get treatment as a result of the restrictions is in a difficult position, and I understand the heartbreak and devastation of people in that particular circumstance. We will make sure that the service resumes as quickly as possible and that we give the requisite clarity about that as soon as we are able to do so.”