President calls for compromise on artificial insemination

In the lab
Vida Press

“I truly want to believe that opinions of the majority of people will be taken into consideration before a compromise is reached,” Grybauskaitė told journalists on Thursday.

At the same time, she emphasized there were no final decisions, only public statements.

“As always, I would always want to comment on the final process. There are different public statements. (…) Let’s wait for the final vote,” said the president.

On Tuesday, the parliament started discussing amendments to the Artificial Insemination law adopted by the earlier parliament and due to take effect in January. Lithuanian parliamentarians approved for discussion a conservative version, which envisages restricting the number of created embryos to three and ban embryo freezing. Amid heated debates in the society, the ruling Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union’s leader Ramūnas Karbauskis on Tuesday registered a bill scrapping the ban on embryo freezing in assisted insemination procedures, proposing that unused embryos could be stored indefinitely.

The bill still includes the provisions that ban embryo destruction, exports and paid donation of sex cells.

The Seimas had adopted the Artificial Insemination Law in June, stipulating that the number of embryos created during assisted insemination procedures should be equal to the number that can be transferred to a female’s body at a time, however, the number could not be above three. Supporters of the regulation then said they wanted to prevent destruction of embryos that are not implanted right away.

The president then vetoed the law, saying that the requirement to move all embryos into a woman’s body increases the risk of multiple gestation and limits the success of artificial insemination , which is a health hazard for both the woman and the child.

In September, the parliament upheld the presidential veto and allowed for an unlimited number of embryos, donation of sex cells and early embryo diagnostics.

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