Friday, December 12, 2003

Slouching towards The Handmaid's Tale in Italy....

Italy's Senate has overwhelmingly approved a law which bans the use of donor sperm, eggs or surrogate mothers.

It also limits the right to artificial fertilisation to "heterosexual couples in stable relationships", excluding gay couples and single women.

...The legislation, passed in the Senate by 169 votes to 90 on Thursday, will now be sent back to the lower house of the parliament for minor adjustments.

Officials say it will remain essentially unchanged.

Under the law, only infertile couples can apply for artificial insemination, and only to government-approved centres.

They have to prove that they are married or in a stable relationship.

Doctors can create up to three embryos for each attempt, and these cannot be frozen or used for research.

Indeed, the freezing of any embryo or sperm is outlawed, as is screening for abnormalities, even in couples who suffer from genetic disorders.

Women are also not allowed to use the sperm of a deceased partner....


But the story notes that abortion isn't being banned -- yet.

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