Artificial insemination: The country needs new Poles – Politics

Artificial insemination: The country needs new Poles – Politics

The latest statistics showed a new low. In Poland only 37.8 million people still live and the numbers are getting smaller. Since the end of the Second World War there has not been a year in which fewer children were born than in 2022. Activists have a suggestion: “Yes to in vitro” is the name of a petition that has been signed by around 300,000 people and which was presented to the Polish Parliament, the Sejm, is to be presented. It calls for state financial support for infertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization, in which the egg and sperm are fused outside the body in a test tube. The government should spend 500 million złoty a year, about 106 million euros, on this type of new citizen program.

The in vitro law in Poland goes further than in Germany, for example, up to six eggs can be fertilized instead of three – even more if the woman is older than 35 years – and the couple does not have to be married. But just pay for everything yourself. Unless it lives, for example, in Wroclaw, Warsaw or Bydgoszcz, where the cities subsidize the treatment.

Artificial insemination denounced as “human breeding”.

Despite the liberal legal situation, the right-wing nationalist PiS government publicly rejects artificial insemination – in the spirit of its most important ally, the Catholic Church. Last summer, for example, the opposition leveled allegations against the education minister because a new textbook described artificial insemination as “human breeding” and questioned whether anyone could “love such children.”

The petition now refers to a program that existed between 2013 and 2016 – launched by the government under Donald Tusk, who now leads the opposition. As a result, at least 22,000 children were born, supporters say. After winning the election in 2015, the PiS launched its own program for couples who wish to have children, which no longer supports in-vitro treatment. As soon as the first three years of funding were over, a PiS opposition politician calculated that only 294 pregnancies had resulted.

The current petition was initiated by Tusk’s party. This also shows where the wind is actually blowing: less of the old concern that the Poles are becoming fewer and fewer. More of the new worry of losing in the election campaign. And it is precisely the ultra-conservative course of the PiS that is suddenly giving liberal views to conservative Christian parties such as Tusk’s civic platform. The party is now promising what used to be unthinkable, namely legalizing abortions up to the twelfth week. Since 2020, abortions in Poland have only been allowed in extreme cases. So far, this has not led to more births.

The childless and unmarried PiS party leader Jarosław Kaczyński gave his own explanation for the declining birth rate in front of the cameras last fall: Young Polish women simply drink too much alcohol. The petitioners also keep their answer simple: “In vitro means people,” is their slogan.

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