Poland's Parliament Votes to Reinstate IVF Funding
Poland's parliament, under a newly elected opposition, voted to overturn a previous government decision and reinstate state funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The previous ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), had halted reimbursements for IVF in 2015, reflecting the nation's conservative shift and alignment with the Roman Catholic Church, which opposes the procedure.
Following the defeat of PiS in last month's election by a coalition of opposition parties, expected to assume power soon, the parliament initiated changes under the leadership of opposition speaker, Szymon Hołownia.
An IVF bill, supported by a public petition, was approved on Wednesday. Set to take effect in 2024, the new legislation will allocate at least 500 million złoty (€115 million) to ensure broad access to IVF, according to Agnieszka Pomaska of Civic Coalition, the largest party in the new coalition.
Previously, local governments offered limited IVF funding, but the scale was constrained by financial limitations. Pomaska noted that without state financing, IVF remained prohibitively expensive for most couples.
The former PiS administration had endorsed naprotechnology, a less effective conception method approved by the Catholic Church, which does not involve creating excess embryos.
Debate on the ethical implications of IVF was highlighted by comments from Maria Kurowska of the right-wing Sovereign Poland party, during initial discussions.
While the bill has been passed, it awaits the signature of President Andrzej Duda, an ally of PiS known for his conservative stance. However, Duda's chief of staff, Marcin Mastalerek, expressed optimism that the president would not block the bill pending his review of the final version.