In Vitro Fertilisation - Legal Status

Legal Status

Government agencies in China passed bans on the use of IVF in 2003 by unmarried women or by couples with certain infectious diseases. Sunni Muslim nations generally allow IVF between married couples when conducted with their own respective sperm and eggs, but not with donor eggs from other couples. But Iran, which is Shi'a Muslim, has a more complex scheme. Iran bars sperm donation but allows donation of both fertilised and unfertilised eggs. Fertilised eggs are donated from married couples to other married couples, while unfertilised eggs are donated in the context of mut'ah or temporary marriage to the father. The nation of Costa Rica has a complete ban on all IVF technology, it having been ruled unconstitutional by the nation's Supreme Court because it "violated life." Costa Rica is the only country in the western hemisphere that forbids this technique. A law project sent reluctantly by the government of Pres. Laura Chinchilla was rejected at the Costa Rican parliament. President Chinchilla, whose strong Catholic views have won her to be named officially as Preferred Daughter of the Virgin Mary has not publicly stated her position on the question of in vitro fertilisation. However, given the massive influence of the Catholic Church in her government any change in the status quo seems very unlikely La Costa Rica católica se atasca con la fertilización in vitro CIDH Extends Deadline For Approval Of Law For In-Vitro Fertilization In Costa Rica. Federal regulations in the United States include screening requirements and restrictions on donations, but generally do not affect sexually intimate partners. However, doctors may be required to provide treatments due to nondiscrimination laws, as for example in California.

All major restrictions on single but infertile women using IVF were lifted in Australia in 2002 after a final appeal to the Australian High Court was rejected on procedural grounds in the Leesa Meldrum case. A Victorian federal court had ruled in 2000 that the existing ban on all single women and lesbians using IVF constituted sex discrimination. Victoria's government announced changes to its IVF law in 2007 eliminating remaining restrictions on fertile single women and lesbians, leaving South Australia as the only state maintaining them. The US state of Tennessee proposed a bill in 2009 that would have defined donor IVF as adoption. During the same session another bill proposed barring adoption from any unmarried and cohabitating couple, and activist groups stated that passing the first bill would effectively stop unmarried people from using IVF. Neither of these bills passed.

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