Whether Or Not Meghan And Harry Had IVF Is None Of Your Business

Why do we think a pregnancy is open season to discussing intimate, personal or medical details with people?

Meghan Harry IVF

by Rhiannon Evans |

Congratulations to Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have announced that they have welcomed their second child. Big non-congratulations to anyone who piled onto social media and google in the aftermath to try and find out if the couple had conceived via IVF.

In February, as Harry and Meghan's announcement continued to be one of the biggest stories in the world, on Google 'Meghan Markle IVF' was trending, alongside, of course, 'Meghan Markle due date'.

Even setting aside the desperate insatiable need for any information about Meghan Markle, the obsession with women's wombs and their ability to rapidly become public discourse was as disappointing as it was inevitable.

Why are we obsessed with women's bodies and pregnancies - not in a way that gives them the respect they deserve, but that denegrates them and makes them public property? And why does it allow people to speculate and discuss medical, sexual and gynaecological issues we'd never usually dream of?

Why when a woman announces that they're pregnant is it open season? In this case it's the speculation about whether Meghan and Harry had IVF - perhaps because of her age and our outdated notions around women's fertility, perhaps because there were stories (from disputable sources) over the summer that suggested it was an option.

But it's always the case for women - whether that takes the form of bump-touching to questions about when and how you conceived from people who literally would never ask you about your sex life previously (hi random uncles!). There are laws against employers asking the sort of questions you get thrown at you daily as a pregnant woman... for a reason.

There are lots of reasons it's so great we've become more open in our discussion of fertility issues and IVF - but this openness doesn't mean it's ok to ask women (as regularly happens to some mums, especially of twins) whether she used fertility treatments.

That's always the case, but surely even more the case for Meghan and Harry?

After a series of fights to protect their privacy, even giving up any rights to the royal family and severing financial and beneficial ties, surely now would've been the time to just click like on Misan Harriman's beautiful instagram picture and get on with your day.

However, instead, the couple - and let's be honest, Meghan - were subjected to not only scrutiny, but cruel scrutiny about the nature of their pregnancy.

It all seems ever crueller given the backdrop of her emotional and honest op-ed in November, where she admitted she's had a miscarriage last July.

That very fact should lend the couple more tenderness, love and congratulations. But, of course, instead, there were social posts all over the internet playing womb detective - how far gone is she? When did she conceive? How long after her miscarriage was it? Is that safe? None of this is any of your business. Or, ok, maybe all this can be your business in a world where you're also open to your medical history being openly discussed on social platforms.

Meghan's pregnancy with Archie was rocked by criticism constantly too. The couple chose not to reveal various details surrounding his birth, did not partake in an official photo call outside the hospital, and had a private christening. You may remember the fake bump rumours too. Since then, they have defended their young son's privacy religiously.

This time, aside from a statement and Misan's photograph, we knew very little. That's their decision, and fair enough.

Asking whether Harry and Meghan had IVF is absolutely awful. It's misogyny, it's intrusive, it's cruel and as ever, much of it is rooted in racism . Sadly, that's the treatment she came to know and expect from the British public - and it's why the couple have withdrawn to where they are today. So guess what? Her womb was never your property even when she married into a royal family. But it's even less of your business now.

READ MORE: The Story Behind The Dress Meghan Markle Wore To Announce Her Pregnancy

READ MORE: How The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Paid Tribute To Princess Diana With Their Pregnancy Announcement

READ MORE: When Will We Learn To Stop Speculating About Women's Potential Pregnancies?

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