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Monday, July 13, 2015

Senate passes IVF bill

A hotly debated bill that regulates state funding for IVF passed by a whisker in Poland's upper house of parliament on Friday.

The bill was ultimately passed without any amendments, with 46 senators backing the bill, 43 against and 4 abstentions.

The prospective law, which still has to be signed by outgoing President Bronisław Komorowski, has proved highly emotive in Poland.

The Roman Catholic Church and chief opposition party Law and Justice have vehemently criticised the legislation.

On Wednesday, senators debated the bill for 11 hours, with calls for amendments put forward by representatives of several parties.

However, a narrow majority managed to pass the bill, which was originally put forward by Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz's Civic Platform party.

The bill regulates state funding for infertile couples, both married and otherwise, once all other methods of treatment have been exhausted, taking in a 12-month time period.

Although the bill was only passed in parliament last month, a pilot IVF programme was introduced in July 2013. This was done via a loophole in the law by which IVF was classified as an ordinary medical procedure such as a tonsillectomy. Over 2000 babies have been born as a result of the programme so far.


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