Government put forth bill making reproductive technology possible in hospitals.
Local authorities have created a bill to help parents who are struggling with infertility. The legislation, which governs assisted reproductive technology, will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly soon for consideration.
The Executive Council has introduced a bill that allows married couples or couples who have been diagnosed as infertile to use reproductive technology to increase their chances of having children.
Alvis Lo Iek, Director of the Health Bureau, stated at a press conference today that the legislation will also target couples who have a hereditary condition and those whose children are suffering from severe medical conditions such as thalassemia.
“If a child is suffering from a vascular condition, we might try to treat it by transplanting stem cells from a brother or sister who are highly compatible. Assisted reproductive technologies may be an option. This is a different method to natural birth that involves genetic screening. To cure the disease, we could use the umbilical cord blood of a baby to aid in stem cell transplantation.
He said that 2018 was a year with nearly 140 couples experiencing fertility problems. This number was more than twice as high last year.
The director however stressed that, even if the bill is passed, it does not apply to single mothers, who can still freeze eggs.
Lo stated that assisted reproductive technology is only permitted in public and private hospitals. No clinics should use those technologies.
In the future, criminal penalties will be imposed on unauthorized organizations that provide reproductive technology. The bill states that any natural person who violates rules could face a fine up to MOP 80,000 and a fine up to MOP 125,000 for a legal person.
The legislation proposed also seeks ban surrogacy and embryo donation.