The newly-elected parliament of Poland initiated discussions on Wednesday regarding the restoration of financial support for in vitro fertilization. This was the first proposed legislation following the elections, in which the conservative party that had previously prohibited it, lost majority control of the legislative body.
The new centrist majority members viewed it as a symbolic gesture to start their term by working towards ending one of the bans implemented by the previous right-wing government.
Agnieszka Pomaska, one of the lawmakers, stated that the restoration of IVF funding is the initial ruling of the democratic majority.
The specific date of the final decision on the program, which is estimated to cost around 500 million zlotys ($125 million) annually, is currently unknown.
The legislators emphasized that many couples without children in the declining country of approximately 38 million individuals were hoping for the revival of governmental assistance for in vitro fertilization. Financial aid was implemented in 2013 under a liberal administration led by Donald Tusk, but it was prohibited by the conservative government in 2016 as one of its initial actions, citing concerns about the destruction of human embryos involved in the procedure.
Over the course of the program’s duration, approximately 22,000 children were born based on statistics from the Health Ministry. The IVF procedure, which originated in Poland in 1987, has resulted in over 100,000 births thus far.
Earlier this year, the ruling Law and Justice party put a hold on a proposal from citizens to reinstate government funding. During Wednesday’s discussion, several Law and Justice lawmakers left the chamber to show their disapproval.
Yet, a member of President Andrzej Duda’s team, who supports Law and Justice, mentioned that Duda will probably not exercise his veto authority to prevent the restoration of state funding for IVF.
A group of political parties that support the European Union gained the most seats in the recent general election and is now working to undo certain laws that they believe are limiting. Tusk is anticipated to lead a new coalition government by mid-December, but Duda has given Law and Justice the opportunity to form the Cabinet first.