The new parliament in Poland, which was previously controlled by a conservative party, has now restored government funding for in vitro fertilization after it was previously prohibited. This change comes after the recent general election.
The parliament, which started its session this month, has prioritized lifting the ban as one of its initial actions in its efforts to amend several contentious or limiting laws implemented by the previous conservative administration.
After a contentious discussion, legislators casted a vote of 268-118, with 50 individuals choosing not to participate, to secure government funding for in vitro fertilization treatments, which are projected to cost around 500 million zlotys ($125 million) per year.
Last week, an assistant to President Andrzej Duda, a supporter of the conservative government, implied that Duda may choose not to exercise his veto power over the new law. However, Marcin Mastelerek emphasized that the ultimate decision rested with the president.
In 2013, a liberal government under the leadership of Donald Tusk implemented state funding for IVF. However, in 2016, the conservative Law and Justice party, in one of its initial actions, prohibited this funding, citing the destruction of human embryos during the procedure.
Over the course of the program, approximately 22,000 children were born based on data from the Health Ministry. IVF has been performed in Poland since 1987, resulting in over 100,000 children being born through this procedure.
The recent vote on Wednesday demonstrated the power of the newly established centrist majority in parliament, following the general election on October 15th. It is anticipated that a centrist Cabinet will take over next month, replacing the current conservative government.
A group of parties that support the European Union has gained a majority of seats in the election and is working towards undoing certain laws deemed restrictive. These laws have caused tensions between Warsaw and Brussels and resulted in the suspension of EU funds for Poland at times.
A new coalition government led by former prime minister and former EU top figure, Donald Tusk, is expected to be in place in mid-December, but Duda gave Law and Justice the first shot at forming the Cabinet because the party was the biggest single vote-getter in the election.