Warsaw, Poland, Dec 5, 2015 / 16:03 pm
Poland's new government has said it plans to end funding for in vitro fertilization treatment, citing costs.
Poland's health minister Konstanty Radziwill said the government was only talking about ending a state financing program. He said the program uses "hundreds of millions of zlotys, which we can't afford."
The country introduced funding for the procedures in 2013 under the then-government headed by the Civic Platform party. The programs have cost about $27.8 million, with costs expected to run to total about $75.8 million by the time the program was scheduled to end in 2019, the British newspaper The Guardian reports.
The planned changes come after the Law and Justice party won Poland's general election in October. The party's planned public spending programs include a family benefit of about $125 per child.
The party has strong sympathies for the Catholic Church and previously proposed making in vitro fertilization treatments illegal, Agence France Presse reports.
Catholic leaders in Poland had objected to IVF funding due to its ethical problems, including the treatment of embryos conceived and frozen.
In July, Archbishop Andrzej Dziega of Szczecin-Kamien had said the law's treatment of frozen embryos was criminal because "it deprives a human being of humanity – a living, conceived human being.
More than 3,000 children have been conceived under the program and about 17,000 are undergoing treatment.
Until the most recent election, the Law and Justice party had not been a ruling party since 2008.