Politicians and doctors call for president to veto assisted insemination law

The Liberal Movement group at the Seimas says that the conservative law, which prohibits the freezing of embryos, reduces the chances of infertile couples being able to have their own children.

The Lithuanian University Doctors’ Association also issued a request to veto the law, writing that it “dishonestly raises the unscientific church-based concept of the beginning of life higher than the health interest of infertile Lithuanian citizens, mothers and children.”

The Seimas adopted the law on Tuesday after several years of discussions, opting for a conservative regulation that limits the number of embryos that can be used at a time to three and forbids freezing them.

The parliament’s Committee on Health Affairs had recommended opting for more liberal wording that would not have limited embryo creation and would have permitted the freezing of embryos.

Social Democratic Health Minister Juras Požėla, who backed the more liberal option, has also said that he is considering asking Grybauskaitė to veto the law.

The law, which covers artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF), will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017 if it is signed by the president.

Lithuania currently has no law regulating the use of assisted reproduction technologies. Therefore, the state does not fund IVF treatment.

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