Scottish lesbian couple win right to fertility treatment after legal threat

Two lesbians have won the right to IVF treatment to help them have a baby after threatening to sue health chiefs. They used controversial new equality laws to launch their case in Scotland’s highest civil court yesterday, backed by a government watchdog which believes they suffered ‘indirect discrimination’.

Until now, the National Health Service has offered IVF treatment only when a couple cannot conceive because one partner is infertile. But this, the women said, constitutes ‘indirect discrimination’ against gay couples who cannot conceive naturally.

The women, of Maryhill, Glasgow, have been in a relationship for seven years. They sought a judicial review of the board’s decision, insisting that the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations and their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights have been breached.

Image: Lesley Donald Photography