Lawmakers and Clergy Members Clash Over Future of IVF in Poland

Currently, Poland has no laws to regulate IVF. But, “[l]awmakers from the ruling center-right Civic Platform (PO) party have prepared two rival bills, one relatively liberal and a more conservative one that would only allow the procedure only in a limited number of cases.” The bills up for debate range from a complete ban on IVF to state co-financing of IVF procedures.

The Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland have sent a letter to the lawmakers looking to sway them before a parliamentary debate on the bills. “The bishops’ objection centers on the fact that generally multiple eggs are fertilized outside the womb, but not all are subsequently implanted in the mother. ‘IVF requires the ‘selection’ of embryos, which means killing them. It is about selecting weaker human embryos deemed to be unfit,’ said the letter.”

Paul Gras, spokesman for the Polish government, stated “Judging by the reaction of MPs, I think the bishops will have achieved exactly the opposite of what they intended. That is, they will fail in trying to block the (parliamentary) work on in vitro, the work will be accelerated and probably the bill will be passed this year.

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