By Bill Heaney

Women across the world watched in horror over the weekend as the Russians bombed a maternity hospital in war-torn Ukraine.
And they were devastated today to learn that the expectant mother and her baby who were stretchered from the wreckage by ambulance personnel who braved the bullets and the bombs had both died.
Many women from Kirkintilloch to Kentucky who are desperate to have their own babies will have cursed Putin for the inhumane act which caused the death of this baby who could have been so loved.
And for a mother who would have cherished her child.
If babies are precious gifts gifts from God then the heartless Putin appears not to think so, but missile fodder which reporters on the ground say they are being treated as, no more than that.
Having found that they cannot conceive naturally, many women have turned to in vitro fertilisation treatment for assistance to have a baby.
However, Jackie Baillie Dumbarton Labour MSP, right, told the Scottish Parliament on Thursday: “On Christmas eve, in vitro fertilisation treatment was suspended across Scotland for women who are not up to date with their Covid vaccinations.
“Scotland was the only part of the United Kingdom to do that and it was the only service in the national health service for which treatment was conditional on vaccination.

“Last week, the chief medical officer announced that the service would resume, which is welcome.

“However, women arriving for IVF treatment have been sent away because a consent form from the Scottish Government’s central legal office had not yet been processed.

“That causes a continuing delay to treatment, which reduces the chances of women falling pregnant. Will the First Minister intervene to ensure that IVF treatment is not delayed any further?”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her: “First, it is important to stress that the recommendation to temporarily defer fertility treatment for women who have not been fully vaccinated was taken as a clinical decision in response to emerging evidence and clinical concerns about the risk to mothers and babies of not being vaccinated.

“Those concerns were raised by lead clinicians in the four national health service assisted conception units.

“The concerns were based on patient safety, and the decision affected a small number of patients, although I understand the distress and trauma that it will have caused.

“For the vast majority of women, treatment was able to proceed without delay. The chief medical officer is now recommending that fertility treatment for unvaccinated patients no longer needs to be deferred.

“That decision will be given immediate effect, so that the treatment of patients can recommence. I am not aware of the administrative issue that Jackie Baillie has raised, but I will look into it and make sure that, if the issue subsists, it is rectified as soon as possible.”

Pictured above: The mother and unborn child are stretchered from the bombed maternity hospital.

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