Spain: “MAP for all” – still lagging behind?

Publié le : 2 August 2013

 Mariano Rajoy’s Spanish government has just unveiled its intention "to exclude lesbians and single women from medically assisted procreation (MAP) programmes in public hospitals". According to the government, this technique can only be used to address sterility problems.        

In Spain, public health comes under the jurisdiction of each independent Spanish region, and the aim of the Ministry for Health is to "harmonise the criteria" for accessing MAP. "The government intends to limit this option to women under 40 years old …. who are sterile".   
Without referring to patients’ sexual preferences or civil status, Health Minister Ana Mato nevertheless stated that "the absence of a male is not a medical problem". Consequently, "single women and lesbian couples who wish to undergo artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilisation will no longer be treated by public hospitals" unless they can demonstrate a fertility problem. However, this does not prevent them from contacting private clinics which are "highly sought after in Spain for their role in assisted reproduction". 
According to current legislation, "MAP is financed […] in response to diagnosed sterility or ‘an established clinical indication’ ". It is precisely the latter of these two indications that "would allow independent regions to treat fertile single women and lesbians, if they so wished". 

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