- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Fertility treatment bans in Europe draw criticism
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - More than three decades after Britain produced the world’s first test-tube baby, Europe is a patchwork of restrictions for people who need help having a child.
Many countries have strict rules on who is allowed to get fertility treatments. And recent court rulings suggest nothing’s likely to change anytime soon.
France and Italy forbid single women and lesbian couples from using artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to conceive. Austria and Italy are among those banning all egg and sperm donations for IVF. Germany and Norway ban donating eggs, but not sperm.
And nearly everywhere in Europe except Ukraine, couples are banned from hiring a woman to carry a pregnancy for them.
“These laws are completely out of date,” said Dr. Francoise Shenfield, a fertility expert at University College London.
“It’s a medical treatment and the decision to treat should be up to doctors,” not judges, said Shenfield, an ethics expert for the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Placing bans on egg and sperm donation is “discriminating against infertile couples,” she added, although she acknowledged there were valid medical reasons for not treating some patients, like women over 50.
Experts estimate thousands of Europeans travel to another country each year for help having a baby, though exact figures aren’t recorded. Many are single women who go abroad to get artificial insemination, which is banned for single women in countries including Sweden, Germany and Italy.
Marie Eriksson, a 36-year-old single mother in Sweden, described the restrictions as prejudice. “Having a child is not a right, but the possibility should not be forbidden because you don’t have a partner,” she said.
She gave birth to her daughter, Sonja, in 2008. “It was totally worth it,” she said of the seven treatments she paid for.
Reasons for the restrictions vary from country to country. Many cite concerns about creating “unnatural” relationships between donors, parents and children. Others are driven by religious or cultural objections.
Recent attempts to change the laws have so far failed. Last November, the European Court of Human Rights upheld an Austrian regulation that forbids using sperm and egg donors for IVF.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Democrats cite pope in call for minimum wage hike, jobless benefits
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Outrage over Phil Robertson suspension, 'malignant' political correctness
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow