Croatia widens access to assisted reproduction

Croatian legislators have approved a new version of the assisted reproduction law, guaranteeing the right to assistance to all couples unable to have children naturally, including unmarried ones, as well as single women.

The law, which is among the most liberal in Europe, favors the use of sperm and eggs from the couple as a first option, but allows for external sperm and/or egg donors in cases where the couple’s own are not viable or to avoid transmission of hereditary diseases.  It also allows for embryo donations.  Embryos can be frozen for 5 years in specialized centers, and for an additional 5 years on the couple’s request.

The new measures were voted against by center-right parties, and was opposed by most religious organizations.  Christian Croatian bishops said freezing embryos ”does not guarantee life to people conceived in this way, but rather sentences them to death.”

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